PHOENIX -- The Arizona Diamondbacks like to use the term "downhill baseball" when describing their desired style of play.
Score first and good things happen, it goes, and both Arizona and Philadelphia have seen positive effects from that as they prepare to meet Monday to start a three-game series at Chase Field.
Arizona is 44-19 when it scores first, although it was unable to hold two leads in a 3-2 loss to San Francisco on Sunday and fell into a first-place tie with the Los Angeles Dodgers in the National League West.
The Phillies, who are 36-15 when they take a lead, bring a five-game winning streak into the series. They lead Atlanta by 1 1/2 games in the NL East and will send right-hander Jake Arrieta (9-6) to the mound to face right-hander Zack Godley (12-6) in the opener.
Nor are the Diamondbacks afraid to make an early first strike. Arizona leads the major leagues with 92 runs in the first inning, well ahead of Colorado (82), Cleveland (81) and Seattle (79). The Diamondbacks also lead the majors with a .381 on-base percentage in the first inning.
"We come out on the field ready," Arizona manager Torey Lovullo said. "There is a ton of energy in our dugout and they come out and play baseball from the first pitch on.
"That's what we preach here. We know that our record is very positive when we score first, and I think there are a lot of links to scoring first and getting a chance to play downhill baseball.
"What does it mean? I think it allows you to keep your mind in the moment and be free and easy and play the game the way you know how instead of pressing or trying or having to do something to come through. I think the guys just go out and play to their natural abilities once we get that lead."
Arizona tied a franchise record by scoring five runs in the first inning of back-to-back games against San Francisco on Friday and Saturday. The Diamondbacks had done that only once before, in 2017 during Lovullo's first season as manager against San Diego.
The Phillies opened the season 1-4, but since then have turned the early leads into a .585 winning percentage that is tied with the Chicago Cubs for the best in the NL. The Phillies and Diamondbacks are two of only seven teams to have a .500 or better record against every division.
"What I see from this team is they fight every inning," Phillies newcomer Asdrubal Cabrera told reporters after hitting a tiebreaking, two-run homer in the eighth inning of a 5-3 victory over Miami. "They never put their head down."
Cabrera was acquired from the New York Mets on July 27, the biggest deal the Phillies made to prepare for the final two months.
"The big situation seems like it fits him very well," Phillies manager Gabe Kapler told reporters.
Godley's 12 wins are a career high, blowing past his previous record of eight, with a strong two-month run. He has won three straight decisions and seven of his last eight since stopping Colorado 8-3 on June 10. He is 6-2 with a 3.43 ERA in 11 home appearances.
"We're winning ballgames. That's really all that matters to me," Godley said.
Godley has 68 strikeouts in his last 58 innings while relying heavily on his curveball, which he uses more than 40 percent of the time, the second-highest rate of curve utilization in the majors behind Houston's Lance McCullers.
He enters after arguably his most effective start of the season when he struck out 10 in seven scoreless innings of a 6-0 victory over Texas last Tuesday. Godley gave up one run in 14 innings in his first two starts of the year.
"I think he embraces his responsibility as one of the five starters to go out there and execute and win baseball games," Lovullo said.
"The ability to make that quality pitch somewhere in the count that gives him the ability to get ahead, to get to his secondary stuff and to finish off hitters. He was making that pitch [against Texas] to finish off hitters instead of going two or three more pitches into the count. You can see when it is effective, he can grind up some really fast innings."
Arrieta, who has a 3.32 ERA, beat the Diamondbacks in their previous meeting this season, giving up three runs (one earned) in seven innings of a 5-3 victory on April 25. He is 4-3 with a 2.56 ERA in eight career starts against Arizona, with 56 strikeouts in 52 2/3 innings.
Arrieta is 2-1 in four career starts at Chase Field, all with the Cubs.