The Arizona Diamondbacks salvaged the first half of the season over the weekend, winning three straight games against the Los Angeles Dodgers heading into the All-Star break.
The D'Backs lost a Thursday game against the Dodgers, but were able to win the rest of the games of the four-games set, taking advantage of the absence of the Dodgers' top two hitters -- All-Star Matt Kemp and former Arizona State University standout Andre Ethier.
In the first game, the D'Backs' lone All-Star game representative, starting pitcher Wade Miley, gave up four runs to the Dodgers, which was too much for the D'Backs offense to overcome.
Shortstop Stephen Drew drove in a run in the second inning to cut the Dodgers' lead to 2-1, but a pair of solo home runs in later innings by the Dodgers only increased their lead.
On Friday, though, the D'Backs started a nice little streak.
After going down two runs early, it looked like a repeat of the previous night's game, as the Dodgers held that 2-0 lead into the sixth inning.
But base-runners got on, and the D'Backs' consistent hitters this year pulled through yet again.
Aaron Hill hit a single to knock in one run, then Justin Upton hit a triple to score two more.
RBI machine Jason Kubel kept it going, hitting a double to score Upton.
The D'Backs eked out one more run in the sixth, after Dodgers reliever Jamey Wright tossed a wild pitch.
The Dodgers almost mounted a comeback in the next inning, scoring a run off D'Backs reliever Bryan Shaw, but the Dodgers wouldn't score again, as the D'Backs won 5-3.
Friday's game looked a lot like the previous two, as the Dodgers went up two runs early against D'Backs starter Trevor Cahill, and held a 2-0 lead into the fifth inning.
But the D'Backs bats came through in the middle innings yet again.
Outfielder Gerardo Parra drove in two on a double to tie the game, and Drew hit a sacrifice fly to score Parra and take the lead.
The Diamondbacks tacked on one more in the sixth to take a 4-2 lead.
Cahill was looking strong after a bit of a shaky start, but ended up giving up a home run to Dodgers catcher A.J. Ellis to lead off the seventh inning.
No worries about it being cut to a one-run D'Backs lead, as Kubel hit a 400-foot bomb to respond in the bottom of the seventh.
The set-up/closer combination of David Hernandez and J.J. Putz held on, although they both faced the tying run at the plate in their one-inning relief stints.
After the 5-3 win on Saturday, it was time for rookie starter Trevor Bauer to get his third attempt at winning his first game.
Bauer had some problems finding the strike zone, but it wasn't as bad as his previous starts -- he gave up just one walk this outing, even though he threw 36 pitches for balls.
Not to spoil Bauer's good outing, the D'Backs got on the board early, as Upton tripled again to drive in a run, and a ground-rule double by first-baseman Paul Goldschmidt scored Upton to give the Diamondbacks a 2-0 lead after one inning.
The insurance runs wouldn't come for Bauer until the fifth inning, as Goldschmidt smacked a homer into the stands just left of the center-field wall with two men on base, extending the lead to 5-0.
Bauer was pulled after six innings after hurling 96 pitches, as fellow youngster pitcher Patrick Corbin was put in.
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
Corbin gave up just one run in his relief outing, although the D'Backs put up two extra runs, as Corbin got the rare three-inning save in the Diamondbacks' 7-1 victory.
With the All-Star activities going on early this week, the Diamondbacks get a few days off, and resume play on Friday at Wrigley field against the struggling Chicago Cubs.
Manager Kirk Gibson announced that the three starters against the Cubs will be Ian Kennedy, Joe Saunders, and Trevor Cahill, in that order.