Who could have predicted this?
On May 29, the Arizona Diamondbacks moved into first place in the NL West with their come-from-behind 4-2 win over the Houston Astros and the San Francisco GIants' 6-0 loss at Milwaukee.
Arizona (29-24) has a half-game lead over the slumping Giants and is on its way home to Phoenix for a seven-game homestand starting Monday. The D-backs have won six in a row and and astonishing 14 of their last 16 games, surging from fourth place to the top of the division in the process.
It should be interesting to see how many folks show up at Chase Field tomorrow, if not to rejoice and pay tribute to this team.
On Sunday, the Diamondbacks had a chance for a big inning right away when Astros starter J.A. Happ walked the bases loaded with one out. But Happ recovered to strike out the next two hitters to retire the side.
Houston scored first on a balk called by home plate umpire D.J. Reyburn in the fourth inning. That brought in Jeff Keppinger from third base, and brought manager Kirk Gibson out of the dugout. Reyburn was very quick to eject Gibson for arguing the call.
In the bottom of the fifth, Arizona's Xavier Nady made a fine diving catch, but Happ muscled up for a solo home run off D-backs starter Josh Collmenter for a 2-0 lead.
Arizona responded with a leadoff triple by Justin Upton in the sixth and Chris Young's sacrifice fly to make it 2-1.
The game's key inning was the top of the eighth. With two outs and Ryan Roberts on second, reliever Jeff Fulchino intentionally walked Houston native Chris Young. Xavier Nady made the Astros pay for the ploy, ripping a double to right field to drive in Roberts and a hustling Young, who beat the relay throw home.
Nady took second on the throw and scored on Juan Miranda's single to give the D-backs a two-run lead.
Reliever David Hernandez put runners on second and third with two out in the Houston eighth but escaped the jam. J.J. Putz pitched the ninth for his 16th save, and Arizona celebrated another successful day.