D-backs: Nice to be .500, but not the goal

D-backs: Nice to be .500, but not the goal

ARLINGTON -- It turned out that 13 would be the lucky number for the D-backs, as they were finally able to reach the .500 mark for the first time since April 24 thanks to a 7-4 win over the Rangers on Wednesday night at Globe Life Park.

Since April 24, the D-backs had found themselves one game under .500 13 times. The first 12 times they went on to lose the next game and fall two games under.

The D-backs have now won five of their last six games and are tied with the Giants for second place in the National League West with a 42-42 mark.

"It's important to get to .500," D-backs manager Chip Hale said. "It's important getting into second place like we are, but it doesn't matter until the end of the year. We're 1-0 tonight, that's always been my mantra."

The climb to the .500 mark has been a bit of a sore subject with the D-backs.

"Unless we heard it on TV or from you guys, it wasn't something we really thought about," Wednesday's D-backs starter Jeremy Hellickson said to reporters after the game. "I don't know what it was about the .500 mark, but it took us a while. I think we're just going to roll from here and not look back."

Hale said he did not believe that the repeated struggles to reach .500 had an impact on the D-backs not accomplishing it.

"I think it was just the other team," Hale said. "Those nights and days that we played, we just weren't the better team. The team across the way was, and tonight we were able to do it. So we've got to be able to maintain it."

D-backs outfielder A.J. Pollock, who contributed a big three-run homer Wednesday, acknowledged he was aware of the quest for .500.

"I didn't start paying attention to it until someone said it was over like 10 tries," Pollock said. "I don't know what you could do more. I mean, obviously, we're playing as hard as we can and we want to be over .500, but it's bizarre how [we could] get near that .500 mark and then we couldn't get it. But it's behind us. Hopefully from here we can stay above .500 and go on another run."

After losing 98 games in 2014, a .500 record to finish 2015 would be a massive improvement, but the players maintain that it's not the goal.

"I think our expectations of ourselves are very high, and it's well above .500," Pollock said. "So I don't think we were too worried about that actual mark, because if we kept playing good baseball, we knew it would take care of itself. We're trying to make a run here and make the playoffs, and playing .500 isn't going to cut it, so we're trying to get past it."

Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Inside the D-backs, and follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.