Diamondbacks 4, Athletics 3

Winning streaks are made of little things, such as tagging up at

first base and advancing to second.

That play by Chris Young on a routine flyout set up what proved

to be the deciding run in Arizona’s 4-3 victory over the Oakland

Athletics on Sunday, the Diamondbacks’ season-high fifth win in a

row.

”The play of the game for me was Chris Young tagging up,”

Arizona manager Kirk Gibson said. ”One out and generally you’re

not going to tag up on that play, but he recognized what was going

on. He surprised (center fielder Colin) Cowgill a little bit.”

Jason Kubel followed with a single for his second RBI of the

game, and 12th of the six-game homestand, to put the Diamondbacks

up 4-2 in the fifth.

Joe Saunders (4-4) held Oakland to one earned run over six

innings. Scattering seven hits, striking out five and walking two.

Young singled twice and scored both times and Aaron Hill had a

two-run single as Arizona completed a three-game interleague sweep

of the A’s. The Diamondbacks have won seven of eight to climb to

.500 for the first time since they were 14-14 on May 5.

Arizona had lost 15 of its last 21 home games before going 5-1

on this home stand.

”It’s definitely nice to get the sweep here,” Saunders said.

”We haven’t played very well at home this year, so it’s nice to

turn the page on that and give the fans a chance to have something

to cheer about.”

Travis Blackley (0-2), in his third start since being claimed

off waivers from San Francisco on May 15, gave up three earned runs

and six hits in 4 2-3 innings. He also had a nasty welt on his left

hip after taking a line drive off the bat of Ryan Roberts in the

second.

David Hernandez struck out the side for Arizona in the eighth,

then J.J. Putz tossed a perfect ninth for his 13th save in 16

opportunities.

Arizona’s Paul Goldschmidt singled in the third inning to extend

his career-best hitting streak to 17 games.

The Diamondbacks scored three times in the first. They loaded

the bases with one out on singles by Young and Justin Upton and a

walk to Goldschmidt. Kubel bounced to second in what looked to be a

sure double play, but shortstop Cliff Pennington dropped Jemile

Weeks’ throw to the bag and all runners were safe as a run

scored.

”I just missed it,” Pennington said. ”A double play gets you

out of the inning.”

On the next pitch, Hill singled to left to bring in two runs and

Arizona led 3-0.

An error also figured in Oakland’s two-run fourth. Consecutive

doubles by Jonny Gomes and Brandon Inge made it 3-1, then Josh

Donaldson singled with two outs to left. Kubel’s throw to the plate

got there well ahead of Inge and catcher Henry Blanco made the tag,

but the ball came loose and the runner was safe, slicing the lead

to 3-2. Blanco was charged with an error.

Young said he ”just took a chance” when he decided to tag up

and go to second on Upton’s fly out to center.

”Cowgill has a pretty good arm,” Young said. ”But sometimes I

feel like if I can be aggressive on it, he still has to make a

perfect throw.”

Young scored from second on Kubel’s single, sliding in just

ahead of Cowgill’s throw.

Oakland made it a one-run game again in the seventh on a

pinch-hit RBI single by Seth Smith. The A’s had runners at first

and third when Inge grounded out to end the inning.

The A’s, who came to Arizona after taking three of four at home

from the Texas Rangers, fell to a season-worst nine games below

.500. Two of the three losses to the Diamondbacks were by one

run.

No matter, manager Bob Melvin said.

”A bad series,” he said. ”Any time you get swept it’s a bad

series.”

NOTES: Arizona has Monday off before beginning a rough six-game

interleague trip with three stops in Texas and three against the

Los Angeles Angels. … The Athletics take Monday off, then begin a

three-game series at Colorado. … Arizona improved 5-1 in

interleague play. … The A’s were swept for the third time this

season, the second time on the road. … Kubel has a team-high 36

RBIs.