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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.”

Donaldson ejected for kicking dirt on plate after home run

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Minnesota’s Josh Donaldson managed to get ejected while hitting a home run.

Donaldson barked at plate umpire Dan Bellino for the second time in the sixth inning of a 4-3 loss to the Chicago White Sox on Thursday.

With the score 2-2, Bellino called a strike when the 2015 AL MVP checked his swing on a 2-0 pitch from Reynaldo Lopez.

Manager Rocco Baldelli came out to speak with Bellino, and Donaldson homered down the left-field line on the next offering. After rounding the bases, Donaldson kicked dirt at home plate as he crossed it.

Bellino ejected him immediately, and Donaldson, realizing he had missed home plate, returned to the plate to touch it and then argued as he kicked more dirt on it.

Donaldson also had argued with Bellino on a 1-1 breaking ball in the first inning that appeared to be high but was called a strike, leading to a strikeout.

“We need Josh on the field, out there playing, and at third base,” Baldelli said. “That’s when we’re at our best. And so that’s really the end of it. I think we can move past it at his point, and go from here.”

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