D-backs shift focus to Hale's reunion with A's

D-backs shift focus to Hale's reunion with A's

PHOENIX -- The D-backs saw red the last seven days, but are staying even-keeled heading into the final games of the seven-game homestand.

After sweeping the Reds last weekend and then losing all four games to the Cardinals this week, capped by Thursday's 5-3 loss at Chase Field, the club has shifted its focus to the three-game series against the A's, which begins on Friday.

The D-backs, who once trailed the National League West-leading Dodgers by five games, are now 8 1/2 games behind the division leaders.

"This is a big series this weekend," D-backs manager Chip Hale said. "We have to make some ground back up."

It's a reunion of sorts for Hale, who spent three seasons (2012-14) as A's manager Bob Melvin's bench coach in Oakland. Melvin also managed the D-backs from 2005-09.

"It's hard after a four-game sweep at home. That's not what you ever want to happen, but we have to get over it," Hale said. "We'll do our studying on Oakland. We'll do that tonight and tomorrow morning, prep our guys and get after it. We have to come out and be ready to go. "

Arizona had its chances.

Maness ends bases-loaded threat

The D-backs scored three runs in the third inning inning to tie the game, but Brandon Moss' two-out, two-run home run in the fifth proved to be the game-winner. The D-backs also loaded the bases with no outs in the bottom of the eighth inning, but Cardinals reliever Seth Maness struck out David Peralta and Welington Castillo and retired Jake Lamb to end the scoring threat.

"We got ourselves over .500 and now we are back under. We have to battle," Hale said. "It will be great to see the guys and the coaches and Bob, of course, but once the game starts, it's going to be a battle."

Jesse Sanchez is a national reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @JesseSanchezMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.