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Sedona Red Recap: D-backs strike early, pull within one game of .500 yet again

If the goal was an enjoyable, relaxing Father’s Day afternoon at the ballpark, fans of the Arizona Diamondbacks got exactly what they were looking for on Sunday.

A.J. Pollock and Paul Goldschmidt each drove in a pair of runs, and Jeremy Hellickson picked up his fifth win of the season, as the D-backs cruised to a 7-2 victory over the visiting Padres in front of 35,590 at Chase Field.

Arizona managed just four total hits, but jumped on San Diego starter Andrew Cashner early, notching seven runs in the second and taking much of the drama out of the game.

Hellickson made the most of the run support, scattering six hits and two earned runs over six innings. He also tallied a season-high seven strikeouts, and is now 4-1 in his last seven starts.

The win moves Chip Hale’s squad to 34-35 on the year, meaning they will once again have a shot to reach that elusive .500 mark when they take the field in Colorado on Tuesday. In their previous nine attempts to get back to even the D-backs are 0-9.

Then again, they were 11 games below .500 at this point last season, so the improvement over the last 12 months is pretty apparent.

THE GOOD

-Arizona took advantage of some San Diego miscues to seize control of the game in the bottom of the second. After loading the bases courtesy of two Cashner walks, Nick Ahmed hit a grounder to third that looked like a sure forceout at home. Will Middlebrooks threw wide of catcher Derek Norris though, allowing Jake Lamb to score. Cashner then hit Hellickson to force in another run and Clint Barmes couldn’t come up with a scorching grounder off the bat of David Peralta. That play would keep the inning alive and allow two more D-backs to score. When the dust had settled, the Padres had made a pair of errors, allowed four unearned runs and lost two video replay reviews. After all of that Arizona led 7-0.

-Diamondback starters are 7-3 with a 2.54 ERA over the last ten games.

-Hellickson has now delivered six quality starts in his last seven games. He’s also 3-0 with a 3.37 ERA in his last three appearances at Chase Field.

-Andrew Chafin tossed three scoreless innings to pick up his first Major League save.

-With the victory on Sunday, the D-backs have won or
tied eight of their last ten series.

THE BAD

-For all the good that came Arizona’s way in the second, Yasmay Tomas somehow struck out twice in the inning.

-The final 17 Diamondback hitters were retired in order.

-Hale mentioned after the game that Hellickson was ultimately pulled after the sixth inning because he hurt himself swinging in his final at-bat. He’ll be re-evaluated, but Hellickson indicated he doesn’t anticipate missing any time.

STAT OF THE GAME

7: Number of runs the D-backs scored in the second — the most they’ve scored in an inning since they plated nine against the Rockies on August 9, 2014. The team record for runs in a single inning is 13, set against the Pirates on August 11, 2010.

HE SAID IT

“I guess what it comes down to is we have to be good enough to be .500. And we haven’t been able to do it, so we have to be better. We have to be a better team. That’s just my honest opinion — I think about it a lot now because I’m asked that question on a daily basis.” – Chip Hale, on his team facing yet another opportunity to get back to the .500 mark for the first time since April 24.

NOTED

-Sunday’s game was No. 3 in a 16-game stretch that will pit Arizona against NL West rivals in every outing from June 19 through July 5.

-Arizona has now beaten San Diego 100 times at Chase Field. That is the most wins at home against any club in franchise history.

-The Diamondbacks are 26-4 when leading after six innings this season.

-Arizona is now 5-5 against the Padres in 2015.

UP NEXT

The Diamondbacks head out on the road for a six-game trip through Colorado and San Diego. They’ll have Monday off before facing the Rockies on Tuesday.
Chase Anderson will take the mound for Arizona while Colorado counters with Kyle Kendrick. First pitch is scheduled for 5:40 pm with coverage starting at 5:00 on
ESPN Phoenix 620 AM.

Anderson (3-1) has been the D-backs’ most consistent pitcher this season, allowing two earned runs or less in 10 of his 13 starts so far. He did struggle in his first meeting with Colorado though, allowing five earned runs over 5.1 innings back on April 27. That game accounted for Anderson’s lone loss on the year and he’s emerged victorious in each of his last three decisions.

In his most recent start he scattered two earned runs over seven innings in a 3-2 defeat of the Los Angeles Angels on June 17.

Kendrick (2-9) has endured a rough first half, sporting a 5.95 ERA and 1.44 WHIP. His worst outing of the season came against the Diamondbacks back on April 28 when he was touched up for eight runs over 4.1 innings. He’s looked better in June, but has still dropped his last three decisions.