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Arizona Diamondbacks once again try to reach elusive .500 mark

Since the beginning of the 2014 baseball season, the Arizona Diamondbacks have spent exactly five days with a winning record.

All five came earlier this season — the most recent was April 22, after an 8-5 win over the Texas Rangers that pushed the D-backs’ record to 8-7.

Arizona responded by losing their next four games, and since then, they’ve failed on nine different occasions to reach the .500 mark.

After taking two of three from the San Diego Padres last weekend, the D-backs enter Tuesday’s game against the Colorado Rockies with a 34-35 mark and are faced with another opportunity to even their record.

Chief baseball officer Tony La Russa isn’t discouraged by the team’s failure to reach the elusive mark.

“We’re still learning and we’ll have some mistakes that will cost a run here or there in a game,” he told Bickley and Marotta Monday on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM. “I just believe it’s a good sign of us being resilient because we haven’t lost that game that would have gotten us to .500 and then gone in the tank. Guys have been very good at toughing it out, and that’s always a good sign because you build toughness, you can’t automatically create it.”

Tuesday’s opportunity to reach the .500 mark comes at Coors Field in Denver. Chase Anderson takes the hill for the D-backs. The 27-year-old right-hander is 3-1 on the season, but has been brilliant in his last three starts — all Arizona wins.

He’ll be faced by Colorado’s Kyle Kendrick, who is tied for the National League-lead in losses with nine on the year. The righty has lost his last three decisions and the Rockies have won only three of his 14 starts on the season.

First pitch is at 5:40, and the game can be heard on ESPN Phoenix 620 AM.

D-backs’ missed opportunities to reach .500 in 2015

1. April 26 – Lost 8-0 vs. Pittsburgh

Entering the contest with an 8-9 record, the D-backs were baffled by Pittsburgh starter Francisco Liriano and three relievers, who combined on a three-hit shutout.

2. May 1 – Lost 8-0 at Los Angeles Dodgers

Rubby De La Rosa gave up five runs in the second inning, and the Dodgers cruised to a win behind a strong pitching performance by Carlos Frias and three relievers, who combined on a five-hitter.

3. May 8 – Lost 6-5 vs. San Diego

After blanking the Padres 11-0 the night before to push their record to 14-15, the D-backs lost a tight one to San Diego. Will Venable’s seventh-inning RBI single off of Enrique Burgos scored Justin Upton and provided the winning margin for the Padres.

4. May 23 – Lost 9-6 vs. Chicago Cubs

Two weeks after their last opportunity to even their record, the D-backs squandered another chance against Chicago at Chase Field. It looked like Arizona would get the win, but their bullpen failed them. Oliver Perez allowed a two-run double to Jorge Soler in the eighth inning. Then Burgos served up a three-run homer to Anthony Rizzo in the ninth.

5. May 25 – Lost 3-2 in 10 innings at St. Louis

With a 21-22 record entering their Memorial Day matinee against the Cardinals, the D-backs rallied late to tie the game at 2-2 on a Mark Trumbo home run off of Kyle Siegrist in the eighth inning. But the Cardinals weren’t to be denied, winning the game on a walk-off solo shot by Jhonny Peralta in the 10th.

6. June 7 – Lost 6-3 vs. New York Mets

Arizona had won 4-of-5 to get to within a game of .500, but were once again denied. Curtis Granderson and Eric Campbell each drove in two runs for the Mets to sink the D-backs, who managed only five hits against Jacob deGrom, Hansel Robles and Jeurys Familia.

7. June 16 – Lost 4-1 at Los Angeles Angels

The June 7 loss to the Mets started a four-game skid which put the D-backs at 27-32, but once again they fought back, sweeping a three-game series from the Giants and winning the first of four straight against the Angels. But the second game in Anaheim got away from the D-backs. Albert Pujols’ two-run shot off of Jeremy Hellickson gave the Halos a 2-1 lead. They’d add two more in the eighth when David Freese clubbed a two-run homer off of Randall Delgado.

8. June 18 – Lost 7-1 vs. Los Angeles Angels

The Angels exploded for five runs in the sixth off of starter Allen Webster and reliever Josh Collmenter to sink the D-backs to 32-34.

9. June 20 – Lost 8-1 vs. San Diego Padres

For the second time, the Padres prevented Arizona from reaching the .500 mark, this time with a convincing win at Chase Field. San Diego led 4-1, then padded their lead with four runs in the top of the ninth against reliever Addison Reed, who was shipped to Triple-A Reno two days later.