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Arizona Diamondbacks Lose Weekend Series Against San Diego Padres, but Still Inch Closer to NL West Title

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Don't panic, Arizona Diamondbacks fans! The D-Backs may have been beaten by the San Diego Padres twice over the weekend, but they aren't anywhere close to staging a late-season collapse (ala the New York Mets) anytime soon.

The D-Backs suffered back-to-back losses against San Diego on Friday and Saturday, which extended their playoff hunt a few more days and gave their fanbase some Maalox moments. A slumbering offense is to blame in both defeats, as Arizona couldn't stage one of their trademark comebacks in either game after falling into scoring holes against the Padres 

On Friday, San Diego's Jesus Guzman and Nick Hundley each provided RBIs in the first inning to give their team a 2-0 lead. D-Backs starter Wade Miley blanked the Padres after that, but the damage had been done. Arizona's offense must've gotten lost on its way to Petco Park that night, as no Diamondbacks player advanced past third base.

A similar situation took place during Saturday's 3-1 loss. The D-Backs offense woke up when Aaron Hill nailed a solo homer in the first inning, only to slumber for the rest of the game. Josh Collmenter gave up eight hits and three runs over seven innings of work. Justin Upton, Ryan Roberts, and Miguel Montero each helped generate Arizona's five hits, but couldn't convert 'em into runs when they were each tagged on the basepaths.

Meanwhile, the San Francisco Giants have been riding a hot winning streak and closed the gap in the National League West to five games by sweeping the Colorado Rockies over the weekend. It was hoped that the D-Backs could lock down their first playoff appearance since 2007 over the weekend, but such aspirations were dashed after losing two of three to the worst team in the NL West.

The Diamondbacks finally got a much-needed yesterday afternoon when the offense came alive and provided enough juice to secure a 5-1 victory. Paul Goldschmidt proved to be the hero of the game when he homered in the sixth, knocked in an RBI in the seventh, and generated a sacrifice fly in the ninth.

The Diamondbacks' magic number was reduced to five games after Sunday's win and likely will get whittled down some more when they kicks off their final homestand of the season tonight with a three-game series against Pittsburgh Pirates. Ian Kennedy (19-4, 2.99 ERA) goes for his 20th win versus Pittsburgh's Jeff Karstens (9-8, 3.45 ERA). First pitch is at 6:40 p.m. TV: Fox Sports Arizona. Radio: KTAR 620-AM. For tickets and more info, visit www.dbacks.com.

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