They had just completed their best road trip of the season, winning three consecutive series for the first time in nearly two years, but the Diamondbacks did not seem as much proud of how they played as they did annoyed at how long it took them to finally come around.

"It's the kind of team we are," shortstop Cliff Pennington said after the Diamondbacks' 5-1 win over the Chicago White Sox on Sunday afternoon. "It's what we expected to do."

They received an intrepid debut from rookie right-hander Chase Anderson and home runs from Gerardo Parra and Miguel Montero, the kinds of encouraging signs they witnessed throughout their 6-3 trip through San Diego, Milwaukee and Chicago.

But perhaps most encouraging is they haven't really come close to hitting their stride. The offense has had its moments but it hasn't broken out. The starting rotation has been much improved, at least when overlooking Brandon McCarthy's dumpster fire of a fourth inning on Friday night. The bullpen has been solid if not lights out.

And even though they took two out of three games at every stop, they were actually outscored 35-34 on the road trip.

Still, they're competitive again. They no longer look like a team searching for ways to lose.

"We knew we were a better team than what we showed," Montero said. "It was a really tough start of the season, but it's over. You can't really change that. You've just got to go and, I guess, take baby steps. Go one day at a time and play your butt off every day and see what happens."

Anderson did not disappoint, looking nothing like a pitcher making his major league debut. He seemed poised on the mound and pumped strikes throughout his 51/3 innings, giving up just two hits and one run.

"I've always had a pretty good way of controlling my emotions my whole life," he said. "It's something I was born with, I guess. I can't really describe that. After I threw the first pitch I was like, 'OK, this is the same game.' And that calmed me down right there."

Said Montero: "He looked like he had been here before."