D-backs surprised, not worried, about slide

D-backs surprised, not worried, about slide

ATLANTA -- D-backs left-hander Patrick Corbin seemed surprised. Manager Torey Lovullo didn't realize the exact number, and shortstop Chris Owings also seemed caught off-guard by it.

Focusing intently on the task at hand has served the D-backs well this year, so well that their 8-5 loss to the Braves on Saturday night marked the first time they had lost four straight all season.

And that one-day-at-a-time approach also explains why they didn't even realize it.

"I didn't even know that," said Corbin, who allowed a pair of runs over five innings. "We've had some bad losses and have come back the next day and turned around to win. I think that was huge for us early. Guys are going to get over this and be ready to come in [Sunday] and hopefully turn this around."

Over a longer stretch, the D-backs have dropped 10 of their last 13 games.

"You never want to lose four straight," catcher Chris Iannetta said. "It's obviously a good thing that we've gone this long without it happening. It just shows the type of team that we have. Right now, everything that we get, we're really having to work for, we're having to grind for. Nothing is really coming easy. No one is handing us anything. It's just one of those stretches. It's tough. We'll just keep grinding through it."

Of the 10 losses, six have been by one run, including three games against the Dodgers in Los Angeles.

"I feel like the close games right now we're not winning, whereas early in the year we were walking people off at home like it's our job," Owings said. "[We need to] just keep doing what we're doing. We were talking about it out there during a pitching change, just a couple of hits here and there that aren't going our way."

Hits with men in scoring position are exactly what have been missing for the D-backs during this 13-game stretch.

Over that span they are 18-for-104 (.173) with runners in scoring position and during the four-game losing streak they are 7-for-42 (.167).

"I think this whole stretch we've been one or two hits away from really changing our fate," Iannetta said. "And a lot of times we've been hitting the ball hard right at someone. We get in a big situation with runners on and we hit a line drive and someone makes a great play. It's good to be in that situation where we aren't getting blown out and one or two pitches are changing our fate, but it's also tough when it doesn't go your way."

Despite their recent skid the D-backs still hold a two-game lead over the Rockies for the top National League Wild Card spot, and they are 7 1/2 games ahead of the third-place Cubs.

"We're still in great position," Corbin said. "We've got to come to the ballpark [Sunday] and try to finish this [series] on a good note."

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.