Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 6/10/12

PHOENIX - Second, fourth, fifth. Wherever Jason Kubel hit in the Diamondbacks' lineup in a weekend sweep of Oakland, he hit.

Kubel had a single and two RBIs from the No. 5 spot Sunday, when the D-backs beat the A's 4-3 to extend their winning streak to a season-high five games.

Kubel was 6-for-13 with seven RBIs in the three-game series sweep. He had a home run, a double and three RBIs while hitting second Friday and had three singles and two RBIs hitting in the cleanup spot Saturday.

"That's fine. No matter where I'm at, they are going to pitch me the same, even if I'm leading off. It doesn't matter," Kubel said. "Don't try to overdo it. You keep it simple, and it seems to work out better that way."

Joe Saunders improved to 13-4 in 19 career starts against the A's, most coming when he was in the AL West with the Los Angeles Angels. Saunders gave up seven hits and two runs, one earned, in six innings. He has won five of his last seven starts against the A's while giving up 13 earned runs in 48 innings, a 2.44 ERA.

"It's a matter of going out and not taking teams for granted," Saunders said. "It's definitely nice to get the sweep here. We're starting to do the little things right. Executing. Moving base runners. Throwing strikes. Keeping the team in the baseball game."

The D-backs (30-30) reached .500 for the first time in five weeks, since they fell to 14-14 to start a five-game losing streak May 5. The D-backs have won seven of their last eight games, and 10 of their last 14. It was their first home sweep since the opening weekend against the other Bay Area team, San Francisco.

The A's (26-35) lost their third straight and dropped nine games under .500 for the first time this season. They are 4-14 since winning the first game of a series against the Los Angeles Angels on May 21 and have lost five of their last six series.

"Not a good series. A bad series. Anytime you get swept it is a bad series," Oakland manager Bob Melvin said.

Oakland leadoff man Jemile Weeks and Josh Donaldson had two hits apiece, and Jonny Gomes and Brandon Inge had doubles in the A's two-run fourth inning. Inge doubled in Gomes before Inge scored on Donaldson's single to left, although D-backs catcher Henry Blanco was given an error on the play when the ball squirted out of his glove as he applied the tag to Inge.

Pinch-hitter Seth Smith singled in Collin Cowgill in the seventh inning to cut the deficit to 4-3.

"We gave ourselves a chance to win but just kind of fell short. It is frustrating, but it is also nothing to get alarmed about. Just keep plugging away," Smith said.

Kubel was credited with an RBI in a three-run first inning when the A's botched a potential inning-ending double play with the bases loaded.

Chris Young and Justin Upton singled and Paul Goldschmidt walked to load the bases with one out in the bottom of the first for Arizona off Travis Blackley, who got Kubel to hit what appeared to be an inning-ending double play grounder to second base.

Shortstop Cliff Pennington mishandled the throw from second baseman Weeks, however, enabling a run to score and keep the bases loaded. Aaron Hill hit the next pitch for a two-run single to left field and a 3-0 lead.

"You have to be tougher than that. It just took off on him a little bit. It sailed on him a little bit, which happens, but he knows either way he has to catch it," Melvin said.

Blackley (0-2) was hit on the left hip by a Ryan Roberts line drive with one out in the second but stayed in after taking a few warmup pitches. He gave up three earned runs in 4 2/3 innings, leaving when Kubel singled in Young in the fifth.

"It was scalded pretty good. I didn't even see it," Blackley said of Roberts' line drive.

NOTES: Umpires reviewed a long fly ball hit down the left field line by Hill in the ninth inning, confirming the original foul call after D-backs manager Kirk Gibson asked them to take a second look. ... Yoenis Cespedes (left hamstring) was available to pinch hit Sunday, Melvin said, but was not used. With an off day Monday, Melvin indicated that Cespedes could be ready to play the field in Colorado on Tuesday, although he cautioned that the thin air in Colorado can make recovery from an injury more problematic. Cespedes has hit safely in his last six plate appearances. The A's are 19-16 when he plays and 7-19 when he does not. ... Melvin's ejection for arguing balls and strikes in the fifth inning Saturday was the 23rd of his career. He had 13 of them in his four-plus seasons in Arizona. ... The D-backs have won four of the five interleague series against the A's over the last 10 years, going 11-4. ... D-backs right-hander Ian Kennedy left the clubhouse at noon Sunday to be with his wife, Allison, in anticipation of the birth of their second child. Allison is due to give birth Wednesday, and Kennedy is scheduled to make his next start Tuesday in the first game of a three-game series in Texas. If Kennedy is unable to pitch Tuesday, the D-backs could use left-hander Wade Miley on regular rest because of Monday's off day. ... Left-hander Evan Scribner became the 39th player and 14th rookie to play for the A's this season when he replaced Blackley in the fifth. The 14 rookies is a major league high this year.

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