PHOENIX, AZ - JUNE 18: Infielder Aaron Hill #2 of the Arizona Diamondbacks hugs relief pitcher J.J. Putz #40 after defeating the Seattle Mariners in the interleague MLB game at Chase Field on June 18, 2012 in Phoenix, Arizona. Aaron Hill hit for the cycle. The Diamondbacks defeated the Mariners 7-1. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
The D-backs won all three games in Houston this past weekend but didn't rise much in the standings with the Dodgers and Giants have solid series of their own.
The Arizona Diamondbacks (62-59) tried their best to rise in the standings with a three-game sweep of the lowly Houston Astros, but still remain 4.5 games back in the NL West after the Los Angeles Dodgers (67-55) took two of three from the Atlanta Braves.
Luckily for the defending divisional champions, the Dodgers now have to face the second place San Francisco Giants (66-55), a scenario that has win-win written all over it for Arizona. The Giants, who won two of their three games against the San Diego Padres this past weekend, are now 2-2 since Melky Cabrera's 50-game ban was announced Wednesday.
The D-backs also still didn't receive much help in the wild card race, as they still are five games back of the Pittsburgh Pirates (67-54) for the second entry. Arizona could have made some up serious wild card ground this past week facing the St. Louis Cardinals (65-56) who also hover above the D-backs in the race but instead lost their first two games of the series before stealing the third with a ninth-inning comeback.
Arizona now has the luxury of playing 10 straight at home after getting only one series at Chase Field for the entirety of this month. The D-backs will look to make some noise against two sub-.500 teams (Miami Marlins and Padres) before the Cincinnati Reds roll into town for a challenging three-game test.