Fast forward a little more than two weeks and the club has completely turned around its season. The D-backs have gone 11-3 since leaving Cincinnati and are closing in on first place in the National League West.
The team will go for its fifth consecutive win Saturday when the D-backs try to clinch the series against the struggling Phillies.
Taking the hill for Arizona will be veteran lefty Joe Saunders. The 31-year-old pitched admirably in his last outing, but took his seventh loss of the season as he surrendered four earned runs on eight hits in seven innings against the Mets.
Two of the runs that scored reached base via walk.
"He pitched all right," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said after the game. "When he got behind in the count, that's when they hurt him."
After posting a 0.90 ERA in April, a 6.12 ERA in May, a 2.89 ERA in June and a 4.15 ERA in July, Saunders will hope August brings back a good month for him on the mound.
Opposing the D-backs for the Phillies will be Roy Halladay. After allowing six runs in six innings on July 23 to the Brewers, the 35-year-old bounced back in his last start, giving up just three runs in six innings.
The right-hander retired the final 10 batters he faced, perhaps a sign he is starting to get back on track.
"We made some changes mechanically," said Halladay after the game. "It's going to take some getting used to, but pitch-wise, I thought there was better movement. The cutter was better. The curveball was better. It was a good step, but I need to keep working on it and be more consistent with it. I definitely felt like it was a step in the right direction; things were better."
Phillies: Blanton sent to the Dodgers
Right-hander Joe Blanton became the sixth familiar face to depart the Phillies' clubhouse Friday, when he was sent to the Dodgers for a player to be named later or cash considerations in a waiver trade. He was scheduled to start for the Phillies against the D-backs at Citizens Bank Park; Kyle Kendrick got the assignment instead.
"I'd like to do more. I want to try to do some things to improve the club," Phillies General Manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said. "We've claimed some players over the last couple of days, players we think would help us. Whether we're going to get them or not is a completely different issue. But we're still trying to improve our club for this year and beyond. I'd like to do more. And if we can, we will.
"Right now, more than anything else, I think I'd probably like to improve my outfield if we have a chance to do something that makes an impact. Off the bench we're a little bit left-handed, so if we could get somebody from the right side, that would be helpful, too -- give Charlie a little more balance off the bench."
D-backs: Bloomquist still out
Willie Bloomquist, who has been dealing with back pain, was not in the D-backs' lineup for the fourth straight game on Friday.
"I think he'll be available," Gibson said before the game. "I just wasn't gonna put him in the [starting] lineup today."
Bloomquist wanted to start, according to Gibson, but the skipper wants to make sure he's OK first. He was scheduled to take batting practice before Friday's series opener against the Phillies, but rain canceled the D-backs' turn for BP.
The veteran infielder didn't end up coming into Friday's game as a pinch-hitter or defensive replacement.
Acquired from Boston at the non-waiver Trade Deadline, Matt Albers joined the D-backs on Friday in Philadelphia.
Kendrick saw his career-best 22-inning scoreless streak end Friday night in the second inning when Justin Upton launched his 100th career homer.