Adam LaRoche is at it again.
LaRoche, whose batting average traditionally spikes after the All-Star break, has four multi-hit games in his last six after a three-hit game at Washington on Sunday, when he hit his 20th home run of the season and two singles. He now has six straight 20-homer seasons.
LaRoche, in his first season with the Diamondbacks, is hitting .407 with four doubles and six homers in August. After hitting .253 with 13 homers before the All-Star break, LaRoche is hitting .315 with six homers and 14-multi-hit games since the opening of the second half July 16. His batting average is .275, the highest it has been since May 27.
It is a familiar pattern -- LaRoche entered the season hitting .301 after the All-Star break, almost 50 percentage points higher than his pre-break average, .252. Just don't ask him to explain the trend.
"You can look back at my career -- it happens. For whatever reason, it clicks in the second half," said LaRoche, who leads the D-backs with 75 RBI.
LaRoche is on pace for a career-high 102 RBI after a previous high of 90 with Atlanta in 2006. He also is 12 short of the D-backs' franchise record for RBI by a first basemen, 87, set by Tony Clark in 2005. Conor Jackson ranks second at the position with 79 RBI in 2008, and Mark Grace is third with 78 in 2001.
NATIONALS 5, DIAMONDBACKS 3: RHP Barry Enright battled evenly with RHP Stephen Strasburg through five innings before the bullpen gave up a run in each of the last two innings. The D-backs lost the first series in their last five, although they finished a seven-game road trip at 4-3, only their second winning trip of the season. 1B Adam LaRoche had three of the D-backs' seven hits, including his 20th home run.
--1B Adam LaRoche had his 20th home run of the season among his three hits Sunday, giving him six consecutive 20-homer seasons. LaRoche has four multiple-hit games in his last six and has raised his batting average to .275, the highest it has been since May 27. Traditionally strong in the second half, LaRoche is hitting .407 with four doubles, six homers and 11 RBIs in August.
--Rookie RHP Barry Enright became the second active major leaguer to give up three runs or less in five innings or more in his first nine career starts when he gave up three runs in five innings in a no-decision against Washington on Sunday. Enright joined Jered Weaver, who was 7-0 with a 1.81 ERA in his first nine career starts in 2006. Enright is 3-2 with a 2.91 ERA.
--C Miguel Montero is the only catcher to have two-homer games in each of the last four seasons, according to Elias, after hitting two Saturday night in Washington. Montero, who has hit safely in 12 of his last 15 games, has four homers in his last five games after hitting two in a mid-week series in Milwaukee.
--LHP Jordan Norberto and RHP Esmerling Vasquez gave up a run apiece Sunday, snapping a streak of 17 2/3 consecutive scoreless innings by the bullpen. Washington SS Ian Desmond's two-out single in the last of the seventh broke the string and gave the Nationals a 4-3 lead.
--The D-backs are not expected to sign No. 1 draft pick Texas A&M RHP Barret Loux, the sixth player taken overall this June, by the Monday deadline after Loux was determined to have shoulder and elbow issues in the post-draft physical exam. The D-backs will receive the No. 7 pick in the 2011 draft if Loux is not signed, and that would likely give them two picks in the top seven.
DIAMOND STAT: .549 -- 1B Adam LaRoche's career post-All-Star slugging average, which is 100 points higher than his career pre-All-Star slugging average.
QUOTABLE: "I'd like to be 7-0. I guess it's an improvement." -- Arizona interim manager Kirk Gibson, after the D-backs' 4-3 road trip last week, only their second winning road trip of the season.
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