PHOENIX -- Joey Votto turned 36 years old earlier this week and has battled a bad back that sent him to the injured list for a decent chunk of August.
But if age is starting to catch up with him, it's hard to tell.
"He's done it his whole career," Cincinnati Reds manager David Bell said of Votto. "He's always working on it, trying to improve and making adjustments. He's in a good place. It'd be great to have him finish strong and take it into next year."
The Diamondbacks lost their sixth straight to tumble further out of the NL wild card race. They won 11 out of 12 from Aug. 25-Sept. 7 to pull within 1 1/2 games of the second wild card spot, but are now 4 1/2 behind the Chicago Cubs with just 14 to play.
Votto gave the Reds a 2-0 lead in the third inning when he hit a two-run homer over the left field wall. It was his 15th of the season. In 18 games since coming off the injured list, he's 20 of 64 (.313) at the plate with three homers.
The Diamondbacks pulled within 2-1 in the fourth before VanMeter launched a two-out, two-run homer to extend the Reds' lead. Both runs were unearned because of an error by second baseman Wilmer Flores.
"We knew with Luis on the mound he would hold them to little or nothing," VanMeter said. "It was nice to get those four runs and it ended up being the difference."
Raisel Iglesias pitched a scoreless ninth, working around Ketel Marte's two-out double, for his 30th save. Michael Lorenzen pitched two scoreless innings of the relief in the seventh and eighth, striking out two.
"It is unfortunate we couldn't get another big hit at a crucial time," Arizona manager Torey Lovullo said. "We hit some balls very, very hard from an offensive standpoint. The Reds made some big defensive plays.
Castillo (15-6) gave up two runs over five innings, striking out three to push his season total to 211. The Reds have won four of his last five starts.
Mike Leake (11-11) threw six innings for the Diamondbacks, giving up five hits and four runs (two earned). The bullpen pitched three scoreless innings to keep them in the game, but hits were hard to find.
Cincinnati shortstop Jose Iglesias made two phenomenal defensive plays, including one that saved a run.
The first was when the 29-year-old leapt to grab Adam Jones' liner that seemed headed for the left-center field gap. The second was when he dove to grab Christian Walker's hard grounder before turning to make the throw and get the third out at second base, which stranded Marte at third.
"That's my job," Iglesias said. "Just try to save runs and try to make plays for my team."
The Diamondbacks announced before the game that they've extended the contract of GM Mike Hazen. The team didn't release details of the extension. The 43-year-old was hired in 2016 and has kept the Diamondbacks competitive in the NL Western Division, though they've finished behind the Dodgers each year.
Hazen's name had been linked to the GM opening with the Boston Red Sox after they fired Dave Dombrowski. Hazen worked in the Red Sox front office before being hired by the Diamondbacks.
Diamondbacks: Luke Weaver (4-3, 3.03 ERA) threw two scoreless innings on Friday in a rehab assignment in Single-A Visalia. The right-hander hasn't pitched in the big leagues since May 26 because of forearm tightness.
Reds: RHP Anthony DeSclafani (9-8, 4.06 ERA) is scheduled to start. He's pitched at least six innings in each of his last four outings and has a 2-1 record with a 2.32 ERA over his last five starts.
Diamondbacks: RHP Merrill Kelly (10-14, 4.68) will start for the first time against the Reds. Kelly's spot rotation was in peril a few weeks ago, but he's been better in his last two outings, giving up three earned runs over 13 innings.
More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports
Fantasy baseball forecaster: Team hitting ratings
Stay ahead of the game and optimize your fantasy baseball hitters with our forecaster, which provides a rolling 10-day outlook of every team's hitting matchups as well as the potential for stolen bases.
Fantasy baseball forecaster: Pitcher projections for the next 10 days
Keep up to date on who is pitching -- and how well they're expected to do -- with our forecaster, which provides a rolling 10-day outlook of every team's probable starting pitchers with game score projections.
Willie Mays makes 'The Catch' in 1954 World Series
On Sept. 29, 1954, Willie Mays made the famous over-the-shoulder catch for the New York Giants in Game 1 of the 1954 World Series against Cleveland.
The science behind Willie Mays' iconic catch
Sport Science examines Willie Mays' incredible over-the-shoulder catch from the 1954 World Series.
Fantasy baseball daily notes: Pitcher and hitter rankings for Thursday
Prepare your fantasy baseball lineups confidently with our daily preview, including pitcher projections, hitter matchup ratings and more.
Appreciating Willie Mays' illustrious MLB career on his 90th birthday
In honor of Willie Mays' 90th birthday, several notable MLB names look back at his incredible career spanning 22 years.