The hot streak that moved the Arizona Diamondbacks back into the NL West picture fizzled with four consecutive losses to baseball's best team.
The drought might be in danger of expanding against one of the majors' worst.
Sonny Gray looks to continue his personal roll as his last-place Oakland Athletics try to hand the Diamondbacks their sixth straight loss at home Friday night in the opener of a three-game series.
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Arizona (62-65) used a four-game sweep in Cincinnati last week to move within five games of the division-leading Los Angeles Dodgers. But it all came crashing down with four losses to St. Louis, ending with a 5-3 defeat Thursday.
The Diamondbacks had the bases loaded with no outs in the eighth inning and failed to score.
''Another situation where the anxiety just gets to you,'' manager Chip Hale said. ''Guys see it right in front of them, they have a chance to be a hero and want it to bad. That is something with experience we should get better at.''
The sweep gave the Diamondbacks their first five-game skid at home since dropping eight in a row from April 2-16, 2014.
Even worse, it's left them needing a near-miracle to make the postseason with 8 1/2 games to make up on the Dodgers and the wild card a distant 11 1/2 games away.
Gray (12-5, 2.10 ERA) should have a good chance to extend the gap.
The AL's ERA leader has a 1.58 ERA and 0.96 WHIP in his last six starts, but his last two starts haven't exactly been dominant. Gray has allowed four home runs that have accounted for six of the seven runs he's given up.
Three of the four runs the right-hander allowed over 5 2-3 innings in a 4-2 loss at Baltimore on Aug. 17 were unearned. Three of the five hits he gave up over eight in a 5-4 loss to Tampa Bay on Saturday left the park.
Gray, 8-2 with a 1.64 ERA in 13 road starts, was still in line for the win before Pat Venditte surrendered two runs in the ninth.
Oakland (55-73) is a major league-worst 14-30 in one-run games.
"We just gotta keep showing up and putting ourselves in good positions and hopefully start pulling some of these close ones off," Gray told MLB's official website.
The Diamondbacks hope Chase Anderson can snap their skid, and if he pitches anything like he did Sunday, he just might.
Anderson (6-5, 4.28) was optioned to Triple-A for two days last week before returning when Jeremy Hellickson landed on the disabled list with a strained left hamstring. Anderson brushed off allowing 10 earned runs in 9 2-3 innings over his previous two starts to last 6 2-3 innings in a 4-0 win at Cincinnati on Sunday.
"I'm thankful just to be back here and for the opportunity to be sent down then to get called back up in 36 hours," Anderson said. "Doesn't really happen very often."
A's outfielder Billy Burns has nine hits in his last four games to move his total to 123 on the season, the most among AL rookies.
Arizona left fielder David Peralta was back in the lineup Thursday after taking a foul ball off his face the previous day. Peralta has hit .444 during a five-game hitting streak.