The Arizona Diamondbacks are finally showing some life.
The D-backs just won a series against baseball's best team, the Milwaukee Brewers, for their second consecutive road series victory, after also taking two of three from the Padres last weekend.
Even with the recent surge, Arizona still remains in last place in the National League West and are just mere points ahead of the Houston Astros for the worst winning percentage in baseball.
The road success followed a 2-4 homestand against the Phillies and surging Rockies -- dropping Arizona's home record to 3-15 -- though five of those six games were decided by one run.
In short, there have been some serious signs of progress for a team in desperate need of it.
"When we got off the first two, three weeks, we weren't playing well … All the way around," D-backs first baseman Paul Goldschmidt said. We weren't hitting that well, we made the mistakes defensively. The pitching wasn't where the guys wanted it to be. This last two weeks, it's been a lot better. If you're playing good baseball, you're going to start getting some wins. How many? It doesn't mean you're necessarily going to win 10 in a row, but you've got to play well to win."
Count former D-backs outfielder Adam Eaton in the pool of people surprised by Arizona's poor start.
"Oh, for sure, yea," the White Sox first-year center fielder said. "They have some really, really good players, some talented players, some guys that are gamers. But they run things a little bit differently over there and I wish nothing but the best for them."
Eaton was traded from the D-backs to the White Sox as part of a three-team deal that brought Mark Trumbo to the desert, but didn't leave Arizona on great terms. An anonymous former teammate criticized Eaton's personality, saying he was a negative influence in the clubhouse.
Eaton has repeatedly said he's moved on from the ordeal and that he's happy with his new team. He won't play against his former team regardless because he's on the DL with a strained hamstring, and added that even if he were playing, he wouldn't treat the game any differently because of his history with the D-backs.
"I don't really know how to feel about it yet," Eaton said. "I haven't really thought about it too much until probably yesterday that they're coming in this weekend. I wouldn't say I have a good feeling about it, but we'll see what happens."
Former White Sox starter Brandon McCarthy will face off against Andre Rienzo in Friday's series opener at U.S. Cellular Field.
White Sox: Konerko talks about team's adversity
While the D-backs have dealt with adversity in the form of team-wide poor play in the early going, the White Sox have been plagued by a litany of injuries.
Chicago got one of their pieces back on Wednesday when Conor Gillaspie was activated from the disabled list. But they're still missing their ace, Chris Sale, a late-inning bullpen arm, Nate Jones, two starting outfielders, Eaton and Avisail Garcia, as well as starter Felipe Paulino.
White Sox captain Paul Konerko credits the team's depth for its ability to keep the Sox reasonably competitive.
"Well I mean, I think our team, if you look at our roster, the guys who have stepped in when guys have gone down -- our pitching staff -- we've had guys step in for guys that have done well and held the fort down," Konerko said. "We have some pretty good depth on the roster that I think even now you can kind of insert people if guys need a rest or someone goes down."
The White Sox enter the weekend series having taken three of four in their crosstown showdown with the Cubs.
D-backs: Hill gets planned day off
Second baseman Aaron Hill sat in Wednesday's 3-2 win over the Brewers despite a .432 batting average against Milwaukee since 2005 and despite hitting the game-winning two-run homer in Tuesday's 7-5 win over the Brewers.
Don't read too far into it, though.
"This was planned," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said prior to Wednesday's game. "I gave [Martin] Prado a day off last week. I told Hill he was going to get a day off this week. We kind of talked three, four days ago, and asked him where he thought in his mind it would be, and we kind of decided today."
• McCarthy was drafted by the White Sox and had a 4.39 ERA in two seasons covering 151 2/3 innings split between the bullpen and starting rotation. He is 1-1 with a 3.50 ERA in three career starts against his original team.
• Reliever Brad Ziegler escaped a one-out bases-loaded jam in the eighth inning of Wednesday's D-backs win by getting the speedy Carlos Gomez to bounce into an inning-ending double play. It was the 11th time in his career that Ziegler has gotten an inning-ending double play with the bases loaded.
• Miguel Montero has reached base safely in 16 of his last 17 starts, hitting .333 (20-for-60) with five doubles, three home runs and 11 RBI.
• Closer Addison Reed, who registered his 10th save in the D-backs' 3-2 victory Wednesday at Milwaukee, was with the White Sox for three seasons (2011-13), recording 69 saves. He set a White Sox record for the youngest pitcher with 40 saves in a season in 2013 (age 24) and most saves by a rookie with 29 in 2012.
Joe Popely is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.