The Arizona Diamondbacks held the NL West lead in late July, but they're on the verge of falling out of the playoff race altogether as they begin a seven-game road trip Friday night against the Colorado Rockies.
Arizona led the last-place Los Angeles Dodgers by 9 1/2 games before play June 22 and held a one-half game edge July 21 before relinquishing the lead for good.It was unable to hold off surging Los Angeles, which clinched the division by beating the Diamondbacks 7-6 on Thursday.Martin Prado drove in two runs for Arizona (77-75), which trails Cincinnati by 9 1/2 games for the NL's second wild-card spot with 10 to play."You just take it in and reflect on some things," manager Kirk Gibson said. "We still have to play hard the rest of the way out. It is disappointing."The Diamondbacks have lost four of their six road meetings with the Rockies this season, but they took two of three at home from Colorado last weekend.Paul Goldschmidt, batting .514 with three homers and 12 RBIs during a nine-game hitting streak, went 4 for 4 with five RBIs in Sunday's 8-2 victory in the series finale. Randall Delgado picked up his first win since beating Boston on Aug. 2 after allowing two runs in six innings.Delgado (5-6, 3.98 ERA), who went 0-3 with a 5.31 ERA in his previous seven outings, has allowed 14 home runs over his last nine starts, though, after giving up a two-run shot to pinch-hitter Charlie Culberson on Sunday.The right-hander will face the Rockies again Friday."It's unusual that the only runs he gives up are on home runs," Gibson said. "But as he gets more matured and more experience, you'll see that go down. He's thrown very well for us overall this year, and he has a very good future for us."In a rematch of Sunday's pitching matchup, Delgado will oppose Jhoulys Chacin, who had his shortest outing of the season in that contest.Chacin (13-9, 3.22) gave up six runs -- four earned -- in four innings in the loss after going 2-1 with a 2.25 ERA while pitching seven innings in each of his previous four starts."I just wasn't throwing strikes," Chacin said. "I was pitching up, overthrowing my pitches. I didn't make my pitches at any point in the game."The right-hander is 1-1 with a 3.78 ERA in three starts versus Arizona this season, and he'll look to get back on track against a Diamondbacks team that has won five of the last six meetings with Colorado.The Rockies (70-84) will be trying to win back-to-back games for the first time since Aug. 28 and 30 after Thursday's 7-6, 15-inning victory over St. Louis to earn a split of their four-game series with the NL Central leaders.Corey Dickerson went 3 for 7 and drove in DJ LeMahieu with a triple in the bottom of the final inning for his second RBI of the contest. Dickerson went 2 for 16 over his previous five games.Charlie Blackmon had four hits, while Troy Tulowitzki and Todd Helton homered.The Rockies will look to slow Goldschmidt, who is 11 for 21 with two homers and 10 RBIs in his last six against Colorado.