Resurgent Pollock lengthens dangerous lineup

Outfielder went 5-for-8 with 8 RBIs over his last 2 games vs. the Rockies

Resurgent Pollock lengthens dangerous lineup

PHOENIX -- Beware National League opponents, D-backs outfielder A.J. Pollock looks like he is heating back up.

After going 3-for-4 with four RBIs Wednesday night, Pollock followed up with a 2-for-4 afternoon Thursday, including another four RBIs as the D-backs beat the Rockies, 7-0, at Chase Field.

With the win, the D-backs increased their lead over the Rockies for the top National League Wild Card spot to five games.

Pollock capped a five-run Arizona first with a three-run double to center that ended the day for Colorado starter Chad Bettis.

D-backs' five-run 1st inning

"I was just trying to get a good pitch to hit and put it in the middle of the field and get the runner from third," Pollock said. "Getting one more run would have been a big run for us and I was fortunate to get all of them."

The two-game outburst from Pollock comes on the heels of a stretch in which he hit .174 over 37 games and saw his batting average fall from .303 to .255.

"I'm certain [Wednesday's] game was a little bit of a relief for him, because it's the hard work that's paying off and the hard work that's showing improvement," D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said.

Said Pollock, "Yeah, I mean it's tough when you don't get results, but baseball is a funny game and you can have a bunch of balls not fall for a long time and you can have a ball that should be caught drop in for a hit and next thing you know you're feeling pretty good."

Pollock's RBI single

And in baseball, feeling good often leads to hitting good, and if Pollock begins to swing the bat the way he has in the past, a very good lineup gets even deeper and better.

"It's huge," said D-backs outfielder J.D. Martinez, who along with Paul Goldschmidt has carried the offense the last month. "I mean huge, huge, huge, huge. Him and Jake [Lamb], man, I think are two of the main pieces in this lineup. Especially going down the stretch now with those guys getting it going, it definitely lengthens our lineup. You have to go through somebody so it's definitely huge to see him getting going."

J.D. Martinez's 39th home run

To take some pressure off Pollock, Lovullo moved the outfielder to the seventh spot in the lineup for the first time Wednesday and the manager swears he knew Pollock was close to breaking out.

Why did he feel that way?

"Conversations with the hitting coaches, just different things that I've been paying attention to when it comes to his balance, swing plane, his pitch selection," Lovullo said. "It's a hard game; this is a tough game, he's been grinding."

Now Pollock might be on the verge of taking off, which is not what future D-backs opponents want to hear.

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.