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Diamondbacks make history with ninth consecutive series win

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On Saturday, the Diamondbacks improved to a 19-4 record after a nailbiting 4-3 finish against the Nationals. Trailing 3-2 in the eighth inning, A.J. Pollock produced the game-tying RBI single off of Ryan Madson, then returned in the 10th to walk in the go-ahead run. With the win, the D-backs tied the Red Sox for the best record in the majors; more significantly, they clinched their ninth straight series to open the season, a feat that hasn’t been recorded by any major league team since the 2001 Mariners. The last National League team to do it? The Cubs’ championship-winning squad in 1907.

Of course, a potential World Series win is still a good six months away, and there’s no telling how the rest of the D-backs’ season will shake out before then. It’s worth noting that their series wins haven’t come cheap — they’ve taken down the Dodgers, Cardinals and Phillies in that nine-series span — though they’ll have to overpower the Dodgers and Astros in the coming week if they want to improve on their historic record. If Saturday’s win was any indication (including David Peralta‘s first multi-homer performance and a bullpen that currently leads the league with a collective 1.62 ERA), they’re well-positioned to do so.

For now, club manager Torey Lovullo is willing to acknowledge the team’s strength while tempering expectations for what they might be able to accomplish in the months to come. “It just means that we’re doing a lot of things right and we’re a good baseball team,” he told reporters Saturday. “We’re excited about that. We know that we’re having a lot of success and it takes a different approach day by day. We’re always ready to play and perform.”

Attempting to complete cycle, Robinson Chirinos thrown out to end game

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With his Astros trailing the Tigers 2-1, catcher Robinson Chirinos began his at-bat in the bottom of the ninth a triple shy of the cycle. He doubled in the second inning, singled in the fourth, and hit a solo homer in the seventh. Yordan Álvarez and Yuli Gurriel both struck out, leaving the Astros’ fate in the hands of Chirinos against Joe Jiménez. After working the count to 2-1, Chirinos slapped an 85 MPH slider to the gap in right-center field. A diving Travis Demeritte could not come up with the ball, but center fielder Harold Castro fired the ball back in to Gordon Beckham, who then made a perfect throw to Dawel Lugo at third base. Chirinos was tagged out for the final out of the game. No triple, no cycle. The Astros lost 2-1.

Chirinos was attempting to become the first Astro to hit for the cycle since Brandon Barnes on July 19, 2013 against the Mariners.

The Astros entered Wednesday’s game as the largest favorite in 15 seasons, according to ESPN’s David Purdum. The Astros were -500 per Caesars Sportsbook. Other sportsbooks had them at -550. So the Tigers’ win was quite the upset.

Justin Verlander went the distance in the loss. The only blemishes on his line were solo homers to Ronny Rodríguez in the fifth and John Hicks in the ninth. They were the only hits he allowed while walking none and striking out 11.