Diamondbacks rise from ashes to dominate West

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The Diamondbacks knew that outfielder Gerardo Parra had one of the strongest arms in the game. They didn’t know he would bat .300.

Ryan Roberts was the last player to make the opening day roster, and only then because third baseman Geoff Blum was injured. Now the multi-tattooed journeyman player is the everyday third baseman, hitting .253 with 18 home runs and 55 RBIs.

“Everybody that’s been up here that’s put on a Diamondback uniform this year has contributed in some way,” Roberts said, “whether they’re here now or are somewhere else.”

The infield corners were a big question mark coming out of spring. Roberts eventually filled one spot, with Sean Burroughs _ out of baseball for five seasons _ spelling him at times and doing pinch-hit duty.

At first, Xavier Nady had the job before going down with a broken left hand. Paul Goldschmidt, a big power-hitting prospect at Double-A Mobile, was brought up earlier than the Diamondbacks may have wanted. His first home run was a crucial one off Tim Lincecum at AT&T Park.

Lyle Overbay, released by Pittsburgh, was washing his car at home when he got a call from the Diamondbacks to be a left-handed hitting alternative at first base.

In his first start with Arizona, Overbay doubled off Roy Halladay in the ninth to give the Diamondbacks a dramatic win in Philadelphia.

It’s been that kind of year.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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