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Diamondbacks extend surge, beat Reds 7-5 behind Marte

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CINCINNATI — Ketel Marte hit a three-run homer, Josh Rojas singled home two more, and the Arizona Diamondbacks extended their surge into playoff contention, beating the Cincinnati Reds 7-5 on Friday night.

The Diamondbacks have won 10 of their last 11 games and 13 of 17, leaving them 2½ games behind the Cubs for the final NL wild card. Chicago lost to Milwaukee 7-1 Friday.

It wasn’t all positive for the Diamondbacks. Left-hander Robbie Ray left in the fifth inning because of a blister on his left middle finger. Ray has been their most dependable starter lately, losing only once in the last two months.

Kevin Ginkel (2-0) pitched two innings. Archie Bradley allowed a pair of singles and a walk in the ninth before retiring Curt Casali on a fly ball for his 13th save in 16 chances.

Marte and Rojas have been integral parts of the playoff push. They were at the center of it again Friday.

Nick Ahmed led off the third inning with his career-high 18th homer off Tyler Mahle (2-11). The Diamondbacks then took control with five runs in the fifth inning.

Ray reached on a single when he bunted over Mahle’s head while trying to sacrifice. Marte followed with his career-high 31st homer for a 4-2 lead. Marte also had a grand slam Wednesday during a 4-1 victory that finished a sweep of the Padres.

Rojas’ two-run single completed the rally and left him with hits in seven of his last eight games.

Ray went over 200 strikeouts for the third time in his career. Only Randy Johnson has done better with the Diamondbacks, putting together five 200-strikeout seasons. Stefan Crichton came on when Ray left because of the blister and gave up Eugenio Suárez’s three-run homer .

ARIZONA MOVE

Infielder Domingo Leyba was called up from Triple-A Reno. The Diamondbacks waited to see how he recovered from an ankle injury before adding him.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Diamondbacks: Steven Souza Jr. is on the trip to see Reds team physician Tim Kremchek, who repaired ligaments in the outfielder’s left knee in April. … Luke Weaver threw a simulated game Friday. The Diamondbacks aren’t sure of his next step in recovering from right forearm tightness.

Reds: CF Nick Senzel was out of the lineup for a third straight game with a sore right shoulder.

UP NEXT

Diamondbacks: Left-hander Alex Young (6-3) is 1-0 with a 3.45 ERA in his last three starts. He’s facing the Reds for the first time.

Reds: Luis Castillo (14-5) has won his last three starts. He’s 1-3 in four career starts against the Diamondbacks with a 5.01 ERA.

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