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Snake Bytes, 6/1: The calendar turns

Into June we go, after another successful month for the 2017 Diamondbacks.

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MLB: Arizona Diamondbacks at Pittsburgh Pirates Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports


[AP] D-backs overcome two blown saves, rain delay to take series over Pirates - More than six hours after the first pitch, the Arizona Diamondbacks finally put away Pittsburgh. Chris Owings singled home the go-ahead run in the 14th inning and the Diamondbacks outlasted the Pirates 6-5 on Wednesday in a game that took in excess of 4 1/2 hours to play — plus a 93-minute rain delay. Paul Goldschmidt and Nick Ahmed homered for the Diamondbacks, who squandered leads in the ninth and 11th before hanging on at last. “I think the team does a good job of letting that stuff go,” Owings said about the blown saves. “It’s a long season.”

[] D-backs show resilience in extra-innings win - On Wednesday, they gave up three leads, including in the ninth and 11th innings when they were one out away from securing the win. The rains came after that 11th-inning blown save, and the D-backs had to sit and stew about it for an hour and 33 minutes. Said infielder Chris Owings, who delivered the game-winning hit, "It's a lot of fun. This is a good team. We're not going to quit. That's the biggest thing we've proved. Whether it's the ninth inning or the 14th, just keep going out there and battling."

[AZ Central] Wild win is Diamondbacks' latest 'signature moment' - Owings believes this sudden ability of theirs to overcome obstacles can be traced to the veterans sprinkled throughout the roster this season, particularly on the bench and in the bullpen. “I feel like a lot of the guys that we’ve brought in have kind of changed the mindset a little bit,” he said. “I feel like some of the leadership around here has really helped the ballclub. Just positive mindsets and not getting down on ourselves and just going out there and playing the game the right way.”

Team news

[AZ Central] Pollock still two weeks from potential return - A.J. Pollock continues to make progress from his groin injury, but GM Mike Hazen said the Diamondbacks center fielder still could be two weeks away from returning from the disabled list. “Obviously, we’re going to make sure we do this the right way,” Hazen said. “We want him back as soon as possible but we want to make sure he’s back 100 percent.” Pollock has resumed light baseball activities, but he’s still a week to 10 days away from beginning a minor league rehab assignment, Hazen said. He said a return in about two weeks is “a rough estimate of what we’re looking at.”

[] D-backs update progress on humidor at Chase - Construction on the humidor at Chase Field is progressing, and the team could begin using balls stored in there in about a month. Once the construction is complete, the humidor will be tested by University of Massachusetts Lowell to make sure it is in compliance. Then balls will need to be stored in the humidor for two weeks before being used. "No ball is allowed to be brought out unless it's been there for two weeks," Hazen said. "And if they come out and don't get used they have to go back in there. Major League Baseball oversees that."

[Arizona Sports] GM hesitant to label Robbie Ray future ace, but potential there - “I think what we’ve seen from Robbie over the last few starts and after he made some adjustments with Mike Butcher and the pitching coaches and sort of with his delivery and ability to get in the strike zone, really, from start to finish,” Mike Hazen explained. “I think the ninth inning was what sort of epitomized it for me, given that he was at 106 (pitches) going out into the ninth inning and really, watching him throw breaking balls in the zone the entire time and ultimately beating Josh Bell with a fastball at the end, he really pitched.”

[] Nakaushiro may be the best hope of extending a 23-year MLB streak - There is a 23-year streak in Major League Baseball that you may not have realized was going on: A Japanese-born player has debuted every year since 1994 when Jim Bowie made his debut for the Athletics. Only two Japanese-born players yet to debut in MLB are currently in the Minors, meaning the streak could snap this season. Brewers pitching prospect Daniel Missaki missed all of last year with Tommy John surgery and hasn't played above Class A, but there is one hope: D-backs Minor Leaguer, Yuhei Nakaushiro.

[Fox Sports] Snake Bites: First Concerts - Kanye West​, LMFAO​, Hootie and the Blowfish, Nickelback​, Dave Matthews Band​ and Creed​ are all some of the first concerts Diamondbacks players attended. [Hang on... WHAT did they just call that segment? Get me the SnakePit lawyers, stat!]

And, elsewhere...

[] After Years Of Tanking, The Astros Are Now The Best In Baseball - They’re only about a third of the way into their schedule, but Houston is already almost a postseason lock. According to our MLB predictions, they have a better than 95 percent chance of making the playoffs and an 18 percent chance of winning the World Series. Following in the footsteps of the Cubs, the Astros have gone from league laughingstocks to a championship frontrunner in remarkably little time. The team that Sports Illustrated declared back in 2014 would become the 2017 World Champions looks primed to fulfill that prophecy.

[ESPN] New York Mets apologize after mascot's obscene gesture at fans - The New York Mets apologized Wednesday night after their mascot, Mr. Met, made an obscene gesture at fans at Citi Field during the team's 7-1 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers. Video on social media showed Mr. Met walking down a tunnel at the ballpark, turning around and giving the middle finger to the fans. It was unclear what, if anything, the fans said to the mascot before he made the gesture.

[SI] Hawk Harrelson announces 2018 will be his final season - The Chicago White Sox announced that Ken "Hawk" Harrelson will call his final game for the team in 2018. Harrelson will head into his 34th and final season as the White Sox' play-by-play announcer. His schedule for next season will consist primarily of Sunday home games. He will do 20 games. Harrelson told reporters before Wednesday night's game that he wants to spend more time with his family.