Until pitching injuries struck, the Diamondbacks' June was in full bloom.
A season-ending injury to No. 2 starter Daniel Hudson and a lesser injury to Joe Saunders thinned the starting rotation temporarily, but the D-backs powered through those setbacks with their best offensive month of the season. With Aaron Hill and Jason Kubel as the pace-setters, the D-backs scored 135 runs, hit 38 home runs, had 433 total bases and posted a .485 slugging percentage. Big numbers, all. Their slugging percentage was the best in the league, as was their .820 OPS.
That flexing helped the D-backs to a 16-10 record that was reminiscent of their second half in 2011, when they had 15-, 19- and 16-victory months en route to the NL West title.
The big June also helped D-backs put themselves squarely back into the playoff picture after falling as far as 11 12 games back in May. The D-backs cut their division deficit by more than half; they entered the month nine games behind the first-place Dodgers...