D-backs make statement with 7-1 road trip

D-backs make statement with 7-1 road trip

DENVER -- The D-backs came into their three-game set with the Rockies having won 23 of their previous 31 games. An impressive stretch, for sure, but only seven of those games were against a team with a winning record.

So while they talked beforehand about these games against the Rockies being just as important as any others on the schedule, they know that taking two of the three -- the final one by a 10-3 margin Thursday afternoon -- was a big deal.

"A credit to this group," D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said. "They went out and made a statement. To go out and win two of three here is very positive for this ballclub. It was a first-place team and we came in here and played very good baseball."

The D-backs dropped the first game of the series, 4-3, before beating the Rockies 16-5 on Wednesday and then again on Thursday. They finished their road trip to Detroit, Philadelphia and Denver with a 7-1 record, good for an .875 winning percentage -- the best in franchise history over a three-city trip.

"It's not like it was do or die, but it is nice, it really shows where we're at pitching, hitting, all around," D-backs third baseman Jake Lamb said. "That's obviously a really good team over there, so yeah, it's nice to get this series win ... especially at the end of a road trip coming into Colorado, it's big."

The D-backs, in third place when the series started, are now in a virtual tie for second place with the Rockies, a game behind the Dodgers, who play Thursday night.

"You know the Rockies are first, second or third place, we know we're right there with them and the Dodgers," first baseman Paul Goldschmidt said. "Hopefully it comes down to the last week of the season, so you know [this series] means a little bit more."

The three games with the Rockies kicked off a stretch where nine of Arizona's 16 games are against either the division-rival Rockies or Dodgers. Colorado visits Chase Field next weekend and after that, the D-backs go to Los Angeles.

The D-backs, though, are keeping their focus on the upcoming four-game set with the Phillies, which starts Friday at Chase Field. They then have the Cardinals for three before the Rockies come in.

"It's going to be a good homestand," Lamb said. "It's going to be nice being home and I think we hit L.A. after the homestand. But yeah, we've got the Phillies tomorrow, so let's just do that."

Said Goldschmidt: "We played good this road trip, but it's not like those are going to count when we get home. The Phillies, the Cardinals and the Rockies, they don't really care. So, we're going to show up tomorrow and play hard and try to get a win."

Steve Gilbert has covered the D-backs for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.