At just 3 1/2 games behind the Dodgers and Giants heading into Tuesday, the D-backs have climbed back into what looks to be a three-team race heading down the stretch.
Arizona's emergence is no surprise to Dodgers manager Don Mattingly.
"Obviously these guys are right there. They've been playing good baseball," Mattingly said prior to Monday's game. "They are not going to go away. For us, we've still got to take care of our own business and play good baseball."
Dodgers starter Chris Capuano will look to slow the D-backs' charge Tuesday while trying to rebound from his worst outing of the year. He worked a season-low 4 1/3 innings against the Cardinals on Thursday, yielding a season-high 11 hits and six runs. The southpaw is just 2-5 with a 4.31 ERA in nine games (eight starts) against Arizona.
Rookie left-hander Wade Miley will look to inch the D-backs even closer to the division lead. His 11 wins are already the club's rookie record, tied with the Rangers' Yu Darvish for the Major League lead. The NL All-Star lost his last outing on July 26, but he's 2-1 with a 3.50 ERA in his last three starts.
D-backs: Johnson makes splash in debut
Newly acquired third baseman Chris Johnson made his D-backs debut Monday night after arriving from the Astros on Sunday for two Minor Leaguers.
Johnson made quite the impact in his debut, clubbing a fifth-inning grand slam for his first Arizona hit. The third baseman, who hitting .278 with nine homers and 45 RBIs, fills the hole in the D-backs' infield vacated by the trade of Ryan Roberts to the Rays last week.
The 27-year-old was 27 games out of first with the Astros before the trade, but he is now right in the middle of a playoff push with Arizona -- a new experience he's excited about.
"Since I was called up in Houston, we haven't really been in contention over there, so this is my first time being in that sort of situation," Johnson said. "I'm excited to go after it every night and try to make up some ground."
Dodgers: Hanley makes home debut
Hanley Ramirez's home debut in Dodger blue Monday night was a rather quiet one. Acquired in a blockbuster deal with the Marlins last week, Ramirez went 0-for-4 and played third base. But as excited as Dodger fans were to see their new middle-of-the-lineup star in a Los Angeles uniform, Ramirez was just as excited to don the Dodger jersey and play in front of those fans.
"Every time we came to Los Angeles the fans were always screaming," Ramirez said. "I think it's one of the loudest stadiums that I have been in. You look for the little things that can pump you up during the game."
D-backs catcher Miguel Montero has been an on-base machine of late. The 29-year-old has reached base in 19 of his last 26 plate appearances. He is 10-for-18 with seven walks and two hit-by-pitches in that span.
The Dodgers had not allowed a run in 20 innings before Arizona scored three runs in the first on Monday night.