MLB.com Columnist

Barry M. Bloom

Pollock locked in at perfect time for D-backs

After injury-ridden seasons, center fielder finding stride during NL Wild Card race

Pollock locked in at perfect time for D-backs

SAN DIEGO -- By his own volition, it's been a frustrating couple of years for D-backs center fielder A.J. Pollock, coping with one injury after another. But right now, he's right where he wants to be.

The right-handed hitter smacked three homers and drove in five runs the past two nights against the Padres at Petco Park, including a three-run shot in the ninth inning on Wednesday that iced a 13-7 win.

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Barry M. Bloom is a national reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Boomskie on Baseball. Follow @boomskie on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Greinke, D-backs hope to hold NL WC lead

Greinke, D-backs hope to hold NL WC lead

A battle between two of the National League Most Valuable Player Award frontrunners takes place in Arizona, as Giancarlo Stanton continues his chase for 60 home runs and Paul Goldschmidt hopes to keep the D-backs atop the Wild Card standings.

The three-game set, which begins Friday at Chase Field, was at one point marked on Miami's calendar as a pivotal series with playoff implications when the Marlins were 66-63 on Aug. 27. They've since gone 5-17, and they look to play the spoiler against a D-backs team that holds a six-game lead over the Rockies and has a magic number of three to clinch a postseason berth.

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Patrick Pinak is a reporter for MLB.com based in Miami. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

D-backs overcome HRs to trim magic number

D-backs overcome HRs to trim magic number

SAN DIEGO -- Home runs are up across the Majors this season. But even by the lofty standards set in 2017, Wednesday was a banner night for the long ball at Petco Park, as the D-backs snapped a three-game losing streak and inched closer to a postseason spot with a 13-7 victory over the Padres.

The two clubs combined for nine home runs -- three of which came off the bat of Padres rookie right fielder Hunter Renfroe -- to break the Petco Park single-game record. In the process, Arizona increased its lead over Colorado to 5 1/2 games in the race for the first Wild Card spot. After Milwaukee's loss, the D-backs' magic number to clinch a postseason spot sits at four as they head home for a six-game homestand.

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AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell.

Steve Gilbert has covered the D-backs for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Bradley joins in the D-backs' fun on offense

Bradley joins in the D-backs' fun on offense

SAN DIEGO -- D-backs slugger J.D. Martinez was in the batting cage behind the visiting dugout taking some swings to get ready for his next at-bat when Arizona reliever Archie Bradley stepped to the plate with runners on first and second with two outs in the eighth.

As Martinez watched on a television, he saw Bradley laced a single to center field that took one bounce and skipped by Manuel Margot as two runs scored and Bradley made it all the way to third on the single and two-base error.

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Steve Gilbert has covered the D-backs for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

D-backs set up to have Greinke start WC Game

D-backs set up to have Greinke start WC Game

SAN DIEGO -- The D-backs aren't saying who would start a winner-take-all Wild Card Game for them on Oct. 4. In fact, they aren't even going to take for granted that they will be in that game despite their commanding position.

But if you plot out the next nine games, you can see that ace Zack Greinke would be lined up to start the Wild Card Game.

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Steve Gilbert has covered the D-backs for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Barry M. Bloom

Martinez proving invaluable to D-backs

Martinez proving invaluable to D-backs

SAN DIEGO -- It's been a little more than two weeks since D-backs right fielder J.D. Martinez became only the 18th player in Major League history to hit four homers in a game. And since then, the homers and overall production have just kept coming.

The July 18 trade with Detroit for three Minor Leaguers has to be the best of the summer, considering the impact Martinez has had on the 87-65 D-backs' concerted run for the National League's top Wild Card slot.

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Barry M. Bloom is a national reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Boomskie on Baseball. Follow @boomskie on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Pollock's 2 HRs can't end offensive struggles

D-backs have scored 11 runs in first five games of road trip

Pollock's 2 HRs can't end offensive struggles

SAN DIEGO -- The D-backs' bats -- aside from A.J. Pollock's two homers -- were quiet once again Tuesday night, as Arizona dropped its second straight game to the Padres, and third overall, 6-2, at Petco Park.

On their current road trip, the D-backs have scored 11 runs in five games, while going 2-3.

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Steve Gilbert has covered the D-backs for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

D-backs fall to Padres, drop third straight

D-backs fall to Padres, drop third straight

SAN DIEGO -- Travis Wood knocked in as many runs as he allowed on Tuesday night, sparking a 6-2 Padres win, their fourth in five games this month against the National League Wild Card-seeking D-backs.

Despite two homers from A.J. Pollock, who batted in the leadoff spot for the first time since July, Arizona lost its third game in a row. However, the D-backs maintained their 4 1/2-game lead over the Rockies for the top NL Wild Card spot with 10 games to play. Colorado lost to San Francisco, 4-3, on Tuesday night.

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AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell.

Steve Gilbert has covered the D-backs for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rodney closing in on 300th career save

Veteran has 38 saves in 44 opportunities this season

Rodney closing in on 300th career save

SAN DIEGO -- With one more save, D-backs closer Fernando Rodney will become just the 28th player in Major League history to record 300 saves.

Rodney has 38 saves this year in 44 opportunities, and he has successfully converted 17 of his last 18.

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Steve Gilbert has covered the D-backs for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Joe Posnanski

J.D.'s incredible season hidden in plain sight

J.D.'s incredible season hidden in plain sight

Maybe this statistic will blow you mind like it did mine: Giancarlo Stanton does not lead the Major Leagues in slugging percentage. Well, technically he does, because the two players ahead of him don't quite have the plate appearances to qualify.

One of the two players ahead of Stanton is Mike Trout -- no surprise there. Trout's .638 slugging percentage is just a shade better than Stanton's .632. Trout, incredibly, is having his best offensive season yet. But it won't look that way, because he missed almost 50 games with injury.

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Joe Posnanski is a No. 1 New York Times best-selling author, an Emmy Award-winning writer and has been awarded National Sportswriter of the Year. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

D-backs can't pick up Corbin, fall to Padres

D-backs can't pick up Corbin, fall to Padres

SAN DIEGO -- The D-backs rolled through a stretch of games against the Dodgers and Rockies, but it's the pesky Padres who give them the most problems these days.

Hunter Renfroe and Austin Hedges homered to lead the Padres past the D-backs, 4-2, on Monday night at Petco Park. San Diego has now won three of the last four games between the two teams, including a series win a little more than a week ago at Chase Field.

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Steve Gilbert has covered the D-backs for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB.

Nathan Ruiz is a reporter for MLB.com based in San Diego.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

J.D. first 4-time Player of Week in same season

D-backs outfielder hit .435 with 3 HRs to win second straight award

J.D. first 4-time Player of Week in same season

SAN DIEGO -- D-backs outfielder J.D. Martinez on Monday was named National League Player of the Week, becoming the first player to win the honor four times in the same season since the award was started in 1974.

"It's definitely an honor, definitely cool," Martinez said. "But it's something right now that I'm not really thinking about. I'm kind of just worried about this series and our playoff run right now. They're definitely humbling, awesome accolades to achieve, but right now our goal is the playoffs. That's what I want. I want you to be interviewing me about how it feels to win a World Series."

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Steve Gilbert has covered the D-backs for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Corbin stung by SD again during hot stretch

Corbin stung by SD again during hot stretch

SAN DIEGO -- D-backs left-hander Patrick Corbin has been downright dominant over his last eight starts, shutting down quality offensive teams like the Cubs, Astros and Rockies.

The one team he hasn't been able to solve has been the Padres, who have roughed him for 12 runs in 9 1/3 innings in two starts during that stretch.

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Steve Gilbert has covered the D-backs for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Jonathan Mayo

Duplantier on list of prospects with soaring stock

Duplantier on list of prospects with soaring stock

On Monday, we took a look at hitters who made the biggest leap forward in terms of prospect status in 2017. Now it's time to turn attention to the mound.

The pitchers on this list all turned in terrific seasons to jump much more firmly on the radar, pitching across multiple levels, often very young for the league they were in at the time. Some have gone from off the Top 100 prospects list to firmly on it, while others have leapt from the end of the list up close to the top.

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Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLBPipeline.com. Follow him on Twitter @JonathanMayo and Facebook, and listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Goldschmidt a beacon of endurance

Exercise regimen helps slugger with all parts of his game

Goldschmidt a beacon of endurance

The pain in his right elbow persisted, but Paul Goldschmidt persevered. The D-backs avoided a September scare two weeks ago when their All-Star first baseman and National League MVP Award candidate underwent an MRI that revealed inflammation in his left elbow but no structural damage, forcing him to miss five games.

Goldschmidt, 30, is unsure how he hurt his elbow, on a throw or swing, and the extent of the damage appears to be minor. Since his return, though, he has just a .226/.250/.452 slash line, but the D-backs hold a five-game threshold for the top NL Wild Card.

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Daniel Kramer is a reporter for MLB.com based in Denver. Follow him on Twitter at @DKramer_. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Martinez smashes 40th home run

OF is 5th player in MLB history to hit 40 homers combined with two different teams in same season

Martinez smashes 40th home run

SAN FRANCISCO -- By hitting a two-run homer to center field in Sunday afternoon's 7-2 loss to the Giants at AT&T Park, D-backs outfielder J.D. Martinez became the third player in 2017 to hit 40 homers.

Martinez hit a first-pitch fastball from Giants starter Chris Stratton and got more than enough of it to get it over the wall, reaching the 40-homer mark for the first time in his career.

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Alex Simon is a reporter for MLB.com based in the Bay Area. Follow him on Twitter at @alexsimon99. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Walker up and down as D-backs drop finale

Walker up and down as D-backs drop finale

SAN FRANCISCO -- Continuing to prove himself as a serious candidate for a 2018 rotation spot, Giants right-hander Chris Stratton pieced together another strong outing Sunday against the surging D-backs. He spun six innings of two-run ball, while Pablo Sandoval backed him up with three RBIs to help the Giants break a four-game losing streak in a 7-2 win.

"They did a terrific job to support Stratton," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said of Stratton after the pitcher allowed five hits and struck out four. "He's on a nice roll. He just pitches a beautiful game. His stuff is crisp. Location was good. A solid six innings. Good to see this offense do some little things to help in that ballgame."

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Jonathan Hawthorne is a reporter for MLB.com based in the Bay Area and covered the Giants on Sunday.

Alex Simon is a reporter for MLB.com based in the Bay Area and covered the D-backs on Sunday. Follow him on Twitter at @alexsimon99.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Greinke brilliant, Goldy homers to beat Giants

Greinke brilliant, Goldy homers to beat Giants

SAN FRANCISCO -- Whenever Zack Greinke takes the mound at AT&T Park, he defaults to his dominant form. That trend continued Saturday, when Greinke spun eight innings of two-hit ball to lower his career ERA in San Francisco to 1.37. Paul Goldschmidt delivered all the offense Greinke needed with a two-run homer in the first to power Arizona to a 2-0 triumph.

"He does it every time," D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said. "It's a very nice feeling when you're putting him out there [that] he's going to give you everything he has, he's going to have a terrific game plan and he's going to execute."

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Jonathan Hawthorne is a reporter for MLB.com based in the Bay Area.

Alex Simon is a reporter for MLB.com and covered the D-backs on Saturday. Follow him on Twitter at @alexsimon99.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Leader Watch: Greinke bolsters Cy Young bid

Leader Watch: Greinke bolsters Cy Young bid

Zack Greinke continues to lead the D-backs' march to the postseason, and his return to steady dominance in 2017 might make him a National League Cy Young Award favorite by the time all's said and done.

Greinke outdueled Madison Bumgarner on Saturday night in San Francisco, throwing eight shutout innings of two-hit, eight-strikeout baseball. The veteran right-hander is now 17-6 with a 2.87 ERA and 208 strikeouts.

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David Adler is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @_dadler This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

D-backs pitchers producing at plate

D-backs pitchers producing at plate

SAN FRANCISCO -- The starting pitchers have been a huge part of the success for the D-backs this season. But it's not just on the mound where they've been getting it done.

Arizona's pitchers have provided a spark at the plate as well, entering Saturday with a league-leading 44 hits and 24 runs scored. Manager Torey Lovullo has said their hitting performance has been a welcome addition to the lineup.

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Alex Simon is a reporter for MLB.com and covered the D-backs on Saturday. Follow him on Twitter at @alexsimon99. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Pollock's key hit rewards Ray's stellar start

Pollock's key hit rewards Ray's stellar start

SAN FRANCISCO -- A.J. Pollock delivered for the third straight game, this time knocking a two-run double in the seventh to give the D-backs a 3-2 win over the Giants on Friday night at AT&T Park.

With two on and one out, Pollock pulled a fastball from Jeff Samardzija down the left-field line and through the Giants bullpen, scoring Daniel Descalso and Ketel Marte before Pollock was thrown out trying to take third. It gave Pollock 10 RBIs in his last three games after back-to-back big nights against the Rockies.

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Jonathan Hawthorne is a reporter for MLB.com based in the Bay Area.

Alex Simon is a reporter for MLB.com and covered the D-backs on Friday. Follow him on Twitter at @alexsimon99.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Injury a 'blessing in disguise' for resurgent Ray

Injury a 'blessing in disguise' for resurgent Ray

SAN FRANCISCO -- D-backs starter Robbie Ray had one of the scariest moments in baseball this year when he was hit in the head by a 108 mph line drive July 28 in St. Louis.

But after he picked up his fifth win in as many starts since returning from the disabled list with Friday night's 3-2 victory in San Francisco, Ray admitted the injury may be the key to how he's pitched.

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Alex Simon is a reporter for MLB.com and covered the D-backs on Friday. Follow him on Twitter at @alexsimon99. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Owings, Mathis making progress in rehab

Owings, Mathis making progress in rehab

SAN FRANCISCO -- With just 2 1/2 weeks left in the regular season, two injured D-backs are working their way closer to contributing this season.

Before Friday's game in San Francisco, manager Torey Lovullo said the team had received "good news" recently on both shortstop Chris Owings and catcher Jeff Mathis as each work to return from hand injuries.

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Alex Simon is a reporter for MLB.com and covered the D-backs on Friday. Follow him on Twitter at @alexsimon99. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Inbox: What would 'pen look like for WC Game?

Beat reporter Steve Gilbert answers fans' questions

Inbox: What would 'pen look like for WC Game?

We've got quite a full Inbox this week, filled once again with postseason questions, but also a couple that look ahead to 2018. We're going to be doing a few more of these over the next couple of weeks, so please continue to email or tweet your questions to me. The more I get, the more I'll answer.

Now on to the questions:

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Steve Gilbert has covered the D-backs for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

D-backs shut out Rockies behind Godley's gem

D-backs shut out Rockies behind Godley's gem

PHOENIX -- Zack Godley delivered his longest outing of the year on Thursday, and was backed by a five-run Arizona first inning as the D-backs shut out the Rockies, 7-0, at Chase Field.

Godley improved to 8-7 on the year and struck out seven Colorado batters over eight innings and didn't allow a walk. It was Godley's third straight start in which he allowed two runs or fewer, and it topped his previous season high of seven innings in a start. Godley got a standing ovation from the Chase Field fans when he walked off the mound in the eighth.

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Jarrid Denney is a reporter for MLB.com based in Phoenix. He covered the D-backs on Thursday.

Thomas Harding has covered the Rockies since 2000, and for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb and like his Facebook page.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Resurgent Pollock lengthens dangerous lineup

Outfielder went 5-for-8 with 8 RBIs over his last 2 games vs. the Rockies

Resurgent Pollock lengthens dangerous lineup

PHOENIX -- Beware National League opponents, D-backs outfielder A.J. Pollock looks like he is heating back up.

After going 3-for-4 with four RBIs Wednesday night, Pollock followed up with a 2-for-4 afternoon Thursday, including another four RBIs as the D-backs beat the Rockies, 7-0, at Chase Field.

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Steve Gilbert has covered the D-backs for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Barry M. Bloom

D-backs, Rockies shaping up for Wild finale

D-backs, Rockies shaping up for Wild finale

PHOENIX -- No two Major Leagues teams are more familiar with each other than the D-backs and Rockies.

They share the Salt River Fields at Talking Stick Spring Training facility in nearby Scottsdale, Ariz., played two Cactus League games against each other this year and a number of others between Minor Leaguers on the back fields of the complex.

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Barry M. Bloom is a national reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Boomskie on Baseball. Follow @boomskie on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

D-backs snap Rox's streak, pad WC lead

D-backs snap Rox's streak, pad WC lead

PHOENIX -- Patrick Corbin turned in a stellar performance and A.J. Pollock went 3-for-4 with a homer and four RBIs to lead a 16-hit attack as the D-backs snapped the Rockies' six-game winning streak and padded their National League Wild Card lead with an 8-2 victory on Wednesday night at Chase Field.

With the win, the D-backs pushed their lead for first place in the NL Wild Card race to four games. They also clinched a season-series win over the Rockies, which could pay dividends in the coming weeks. If the two teams end up tied in the standings at season's end, the first tiebreaker is decided by head-to-head record. Colorado still leads for the second NL Wild Card spot, by three games over Milwaukee and 3 1/2 games over St. Louis.

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Jarrid Denney is a reporter for MLB.com based in Phoenix.He covered the D-backs on Wednesday.

Thomas Harding has covered the Rockies since 2000, and for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb and like his Facebook page.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Goldy joins D-backs lore with 1,000th hit

Goldy joins D-backs lore with 1,000th hit

PHOENIX -- Paul Goldschmidt was not going to go there.

The D-backs' first baseman was not about to talk about a personal accomplishment like 1,000 career hits. Especially after an 8-2 win over the Rockies that increased his club's lead over Colorado to four games in the National League Wild Card race.

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Steve Gilbert has covered the D-backs for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.