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D-backs back Anderson to take series win

Righty ties career high with eight K's; Hill comes homer shy of cycle

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PHOENIX -- Chase Anderson has been remarkably consistent against the Rockies this year. Consistently good, that is.

Anderson on Sunday afternoon helped lead the D-backs past the Rockies, 6-2, at Chase Field to win the series.

"It started with attacking guys with the fastball," Anderson said. "My arm felt good, had kind of a week off. My arm felt really good from the get-go, so [I] just had confidence."

With the win, the D-backs took two of three in the series and finished up their homestand with a 4-4 mark.

Anderson (8-6) has pitched three times against the Rockies this year, and in all three outings, he has worked six innings and allowed one run, giving him a 1.50 ERA against Colorado.

"My pitches play good for those guys," Anderson said. "I'm able to kind of pound the strike zone, get outs early in the count and I've just had good success against those guys. The defense played really good behind me."

Anderson scattered five hits and did not walk a batter while matching his career high with eight strikeouts.

"[He] had a little more velocity than I remember the last time we faced him," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said. "He stays in good counts, goes back and forth to both sides of the plate. Doesn't really fall into patterns."

Anderson's velocity was up -- he hit 94 miles per hour early in the game -- in large part because he had six days off from his last start and the D-backs have had him cut back on the amount of throwing he does between starts.

"He had more life in his arm today," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said. "I think just the extra days helped him and we slowed him down. We just scaled him back and he had more life."

In Anderson's previous two starts he allowed a combined 11 runs in lasting just seven innings.

And even though he has surpassed his innings total from last season, the D-backs want to keep the rookie going so that he can get the experience of pitching in September for the first time in his career.

"He's never done it," Gibson said. "He's always gone home in September. This is a big month."

The D-backs gave Anderson a lead to work with in the first when Aaron Hill's single drove in Ender Inciarte.

Arizona increased its lead to 2-0 in the third when former Rockie Jordan Pacheco singled home Hill, who had tripled with two outs.

Hill went 3-for-4 on the day and wound up a home run shy of hitting for his third career cycle.

The Rockies got on the board in the fourth when Charlie Blackmon led off the frame with a homer to right.

Colorado left-hander Jorge De La Rosa (13-10) proved to be almost as tough as Anderson through the first six innings. In the seventh, though, the D-backs would find a way to break the game open.

Didi Gregorius led off the inning with a walk and pinch-hitter Nolan Reimold, who was claimed off waivers last week, followed with a home run to left. That ended De La Rosa's day and gave the D-backs a 4-1 lead.

"Just taking a look at him, giving him an opportunity," Gibson said of Reimold. "He's done well. He's had ability so hopefully he's comfortable here and able to perform."

Later in the inning, Hill drove home a run with a double and Mark Trumbo added an RBI single off reliever Matt Belisle.

It was an offensive explosion compared to Saturday night when they wasted a fine performance from left-hander Vidal Nuno and fell, 2-0.

D-backs starters -- Anderson, Nuno and Josh Collmenter -- allowed just three runs over 20 1/3 innings in the series with Colorado.

"Our starters this series were outstanding," Gibson said. "Real good effort by those guys."


Cahill leads D-backs in series opener vs. Padres

Arizona counters with Cahill in NL West matchup in San Diego

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Right-hander Trevor Cahill's streak of five straight quality starts came to an end his last time out.

For most pitchers, that's a stretch to be proud of. For Padres right-hander Tyson Ross, that's chump change.

Ross enters Monday's series opener against the D-backs riding a streak of 13 consecutive quality starts. That's good for a team record and opponents are hitting .207 against him across that span.

In his last time out, Ross evened his record to .500, earning his 12th win of the season by limiting the Brewers to four hits and one run over 6 1/3 innings.

Even in another rough season for the Padres, manager Bud Black can tell Ross is earning respect throughout the league.

"He's growing into one of those pitchers in baseball where other players, managers and coaches are talking about Tyson Ross as a guy that is becoming a force in the National League," said Black. "You have to [pitch well] over a period of time to get that chatter about you, and he's gotten that this season."

Cahill, a former All-Star, seemed to be on the right track to regaining some respect before the wheels came off against the Dodgers in his last time out.

In 3 1/3 innings, Cahill was shelled for six earned runs off six hits and three walks, putting an end to a streak that saw him pitch into the seventh inning in his previous four games.

Cahill clearly had trouble locating his fastball throughout the setback of an outing. And with none of his secondary pitches fooling anybody, he had nothing to fall back on against the National League West's finest team.

"The other games if I got away from fastball command I was able to throw some offspeed for strikes to get back in the count," Cahill said afterward. "Today, just none of my offspeed was working so I had to throw a lot of fastballs and I was either wild in the zone."

D-backs: Big names expected back this week
September's roster expansion is usually a time for youngsters to prove themselves in the big leagues. In the D-backs' case, it will be about getting back some already proven commodities.

Outfielder Cody Ross and right-hander Daniel Hudson are both expected to activated from the disabled list Monday when the rosters open up to a full 40 players.

Ross has been on the shelf since mid-July with a calf sprain. Hudson is coming back from his second Tommy John surgery. He'll return as a reliever and his next appearance will be his first since in the Majors since June 26, 2012.

Outfielder A.J. Pollock (fractured right hand) resumed his rehab assignment Saturday with Triple-A Reno and shouldn't be too far behind Ross and Hudson. Neither should shortstop Chris Owings, who has been spending time at second base in his rehab assignment back from a left shoulder injury.

Padres: Cabrera's rehab assignment to begin Wednesday
Shortstop Everth Cabrera will not be rejoining the Padres when rosters expand Monday. In fact, he isn't scheduled to begin his rehab assignment back from a left hamstring injury until Wednesday.

He'll be joining Class A Advanced Lake Elsinore that day as they begin their playoff push in the California League.

Cabrera has been on the disabled list since Aug. 12. He's been jogging for almost two weeks now, which had the Padres hoping he'd be ready Sept. 1, but the team in insistent he goes on a short rehab assignment.

Cabrera has been limited to just 90 games this season while battling the hamstring injury off and on. He's batting .232 (83-for-357) with 36 runs, 13 doubles and 18 stolen bases across that span.

Worth noting
• Three days after Arizona claimed him off the waivers, outfielder Nolan Reimold hit his first home run as a member of the D-backs Sunday. The two-run shot was also the first pinch-hit home run of his career.

• Right-hander Joaquin Benoit will continue to have the next few days off to rest his sore right shoulder, but Black is confident he'll pitch again this season.


Nuno retires 20 straight during loss to Rockies

Lefty allows solo shot in second, then keeps Colorado off basepaths

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PHOENIX -- Vidal Nuno walked away with a loss Saturday night.

He deserved better.

Nuno made just one mistake, but it was enough to sink him as the Rockies beat the D-backs, 2-0, at Chase Field.

With one out in the second inning, Nuno hung a breaking ball to Matt McBride, who deposited it over the wall in left for the lone run Nuno allowed as he retired the final 20 batters he faced.

"I don't know what more you can do," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said. "He gave up a home run and retired 20 in a row, didn't walk anybody, struck out seven guys. It's a shame. He did his job."

Nuno is still looking for his first win in a D-backs uniform. In 10 starts for Arizona, the lefty has a 3.23 ERA, and he has not allowed more than two runs in his last four starts.

Yet he still is without a win.

"He's been good the whole time he's been here," Gibson said. "We have not scored for him."

Tyler Matzek (4-9) held the D-backs in check, allowing just three hits in seven innings of work.

"He's been on a roll and he's got a good arm, a good live arm, moves the ball around, has a good slider, went to his changeup later and kept us off balance," Gibson said. "He just mixed up his pitches. We knew what he was doing, we just didn't put good at-bats on him. He's got some good deception, obviously. Matzek threw a good game, but you'd hope you could score when you have a guy like Nuno throwing a game like that."

The Rockies went to their bullpen to start the eighth, and the D-backs had their best scoring chance in that inning.

Ender Inciarte singled with one out off Christian Friedrich, and Cliff Pennington reached on a Friedrich error to put runners at first and second.

Friedrich, though, got David Peralta to strike out, and then right-hander Adam Ottavino came on to get Mark Trumbo to tap weakly to third to end the inning.

"One of the things we need to work on is our quality of at-bats with guys in scoring position and our two-strike approach," Gibson said. "We've been on a bad run right now. Probably part of it is that we've got a lot that we're giving the guys, trying to get them to understand certain things so they can progress. Sometimes it works against you."

The Rockies added an insurance run in the ninth when Charlie Blackmon hit a solo homer off reliever Matt Stites.


Original D-back comes up big in Alumni Game

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PHOENIX -- The man who owns the first hit in D-backs franchise history came up with the big knock in Saturday night's third annual Alumni Game.

Travis Lee's two-run single in the third inning led the Red team past the White team, 3-1, in front of a nostalgic crowd at Chase Field.

Lee also made some nice plays at first, but there will be a price to be paid for it.

"I'm not going to be able to walk for a week straight," Lee said.

Lee, who was the known as the "Original Diamondback" when the team began play in 1998, collected the first hit, home run and stolen base in franchise history.

As for where the ball from his first hit on Opening Night 1998 is, well, that's a bit of a mystery.

"I'm hoping my parents have it," Lee said. "I've moved a couple of times and I can't find it so I'm hoping my parents have it."

The three-inning game took place on Alumni Night. A crowd of 27,272 showed up for the regular season game between the D-backs and Rockies, and a good portion of them stuck around to see their former heroes don Arizona uniforms once again.

For many of the players it was the first time they had picked up a ball or bat in quite some time.

"Everything looks like it's coming in at 100 mph," former center fielder Steve Finley said after going 1-for-2.

Bob Brenly, who managed the D-backs to the 2001 World Series win over the Yankees and is currently an Arizona broadcaster, served as the commissioner of the event.

What did he think of the talent he saw on the field?

"I liked it a lot better years ago," Brenly joked.

Other than sore muscles, it appeared everyone came through the game without any injuries.

"I warned the guys before the game that just like a boxing match, make sure you protect yourself," Brenly said.

The White team, which was managed by Greg Swindell, got on the board first when Mark Little singled home Erubiel Durazo in the bottom of the second.

The Red team, though, struck back in the top half of the third, when right-hander Russ Ortiz loaded the bases by allowing a single to Alex Cintron and a pair of walks.

Third baseman Shea Hillenbrand drove home the first run with a sacrifice fly and then Lee singled sharply to right off Scott Brow to bring home a pair of runs.

"Winning never gets old," said left fielder Luis Gonzalez, who managed the Red team. "So it's nice to do it, especially wearing a Diamondbacks uniform. This is a fantastic night. The fans really supported us and we love to come out and see everybody."

Gonzalez drew plenty of cheers in the first inning when he blooped a double to left after the White team put on a defensive shift against him.

"We know a little bit about Gonzo and how he likes to pull the ball so we made a shift -- a big shift -- and he took advantage of it," outfielder David Dellucci said. "I think that's the first ball he ever hit to left in his career so it should be an automatic triple."

Mike Fetters, who gave up the double, went and sarcastically presented Gonzalez with the ball at second base.



Hudson nears return, to be used as a reliever

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PHOENIX -- The next time Daniel Hudson takes the mound it will be in the big leagues.

The right-hander finished up his rehab assignment Friday night by tossing a scoreless inning for Triple-A Reno, and he is expected to rejoin the D-backs on Monday when rosters expand.

D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said Hudson will throw an inning of relief either Tuesday or Wednesday against the Padres in San Diego.

Hudson was a starter for the D-backs before suffering a torn ulnar collateral ligament on June 26, 2012, in Atlanta.

Just days away from being activated last June, Hudson suffered another tear of the ligament and was forced to undergo a second Tommy John procedure. Given the two surgeries, Hudson's future -- at least in the near future -- is likely as a reliever.

"He's throwing the ball good," Gibson said. "Everything has gone smooth, progressing along nicely. Feels good, pretty good location, has had good life on his fastball."

Hudson has been clocked up to 95 mph during his rehab outings. The team will limit him to 25-to-30 pitches in his outings during September and make sure that he has plenty of time to get warmed up.

They've talked about getting him as many as six appearances during the month, but that has not been decided yet.

"I don't know that we have that figured out," Gibson said. "We'll just watch it and play it by ear."

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Inciarte out at first as D-backs lose challenge

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PHOENIX -- The D-backs lost a manager's challenge in the bottom of the fifth inning on Saturday night.

With two outs, Arizona outfielder Ender Inciarte hit a ground ball that bounced off Rockies first baseman Matt McBride and was fielded by second baseman DJ LeMahieu.

LeMahieu threw back to McBride, and Inciarte was called out by first-base umpire Alfonso Marquez.

D-backs manager Kirk Gibson challenged the call, and after a 2-minute, 24-second review, it was ruled that the call would stand. Arizona trailed, 1-0, at the time of the challenge.

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Lamb lifts D-backs with go-ahead grand slam

Arizona takes advantage of wild eighth inning for comeback win

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PHOENIX -- At one point early in Friday night's game after he had swung through yet another fastball, D-backs third baseman Jake Lamb stepped out of the batter's box and looked at his bat.

"I was just like, 'Dude these are going right by me,'" he said. "I guess I needed to shorten up a little bit."

In the eighth inning, Lamb shortened his stroke and it helped him smash a 97-mph fastball for his first career grand slam as the D-backs beat the Rockies, 5-2, at Chase Field.

"That was really cool," Lamb said. "I missed a lot of fastballs early on in the game. It was more than frustrating, but went up there, the guy was throwing hard and just wanted to have a short swing, quick to the ball and when he's throwing that hard and you get barrel on it, it can go far."

Lamb's slam came during a wild eighth inning.

Reliever Rex Brothers started the inning for the Rockies and walked the first three batters he faced.

The Rockies then went to Adam Ottavino and he got Mark Trumbo to hit a tapper back to the mound for a forceout at the plate, and then fanned Miguel Montero.

One out away from getting out of the nasty jam with the Rockies ahead, 2-1, Ottavino left the fastball over the plate and Lamb hit it into the overhang just to the left of the batter's eye in center.

"He did a good job," Ottavino said. "Obviously, I was going right at him with everything I had and missed my location a little bit, but he put a good swing on it and came up big."

Lamb was 0-for-3 with a pair of strikeouts before the grand slam.

"I was actually happy that it was after kind of a rough start to that game," Lamb said. "Because you strike out twice and hit a weak ground ball and you can just quit, you can give up. But I came up and the team needed me to come up with a big hit and I did."

The game started out as a pitchers' duel between Josh Collmenter and Christian Bergman.

Collmenter allowed a single to Charlie Blackmon to open the game before retiring the next 18 batters. He would not allow another runner to reach until Drew Stubbs bunted for a hit with one out in the seventh.

However, with Collmenter's inning total already exceeding that of last season, D-backs manager Kirk Gibson decided to remove the pitcher after the bunt. Collmenter allowed two hits and struck out five while throwing 81 pitches.

"He threw well," Gibson said. "Once more he didn't walk anybody. He was in control of the game. Our bullpen hadn't thrown in a while. We had to kind of watch how far he goes, as well as some other guys."

For Collmenter it was a simple formula for success.

"Location is the key for me," Collmenter said. "I'm not going to blow guys away. If I can spot my fastball in and out and keep them off a lot of the offspeed stuff. And I've been in favorable counts. I've been able to get into 1-2 and 0-2 counts where I can throw pitches that they have to hit as opposed to getting into 2-1 or 3-1 counts where I have to throw pitches over the plate. That's the key for me. That's my game. Location, deception and staying ahead of the hitters."

Bergman weaved his way in and out of trouble as he allowed five walks and a pair of hits over 5 1/3 innings.

The D-backs did not get their first hit of the game until Collmenter doubled to right-center with two outs in the fifth.

The D-backs scored the game's first run in the sixth when David Peralta tripled with one out and scored when reliever Christian Friedrich uncorked a wild pitch.

The lead did not last long as Nolan Arenado doubled home Stubbs after he reached on the bunt single in the seventh. Then in the top of the eighth the Rockies took a 2-1 lead when Blackmon's sacrifice fly scored Josh Rutledge.


D-backs expect injured players back starting Monday

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PHOENIX -- The D-backs expect to get a host of players back from the disabled list when rosters expand on Monday.

Outfielders Cody Ross and A.J. Pollock, as well as shortstop Chris Owings and right-hander Daniel Hudson, are among those who could be activated Monday or soon thereafter.

That will give the D-backs a logjam of outfielders and manager Kirk Gibson said he will rotate the players as best he can to spread the playing time around.

Since Pollock went on the disabled list June 1, Ender Inciarte has done a nice job of playing center in his absence. Fellow rookie David Peralta has also done well while getting consistent playing time.

"We've had some young kids come on the scene," Gibson said. "Ender has played very well and is really trending upward right now. He's been really good in the leadoff spot. Really understands that role there."

With Didi Gregorius getting playing time at short in Owings' absence, the team has had Owings play some second base during his Minor League rehab assignment with the idea of possibly pairing the two up the middle.

Veteran second baseman Aaron Hill has taken grounders at third in case the club wants to keep his bat in the lineup while also playing Gregorius and Owings.

Hudson, who has been out since 2012 due to a pair of Tommy John surgeries, will be used as a reliever in September with the goal being to get him four to six appearances.

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D-backs add Reimold to roster, release Paul

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PHOENIX -- The D-backs added outfielder Nolan Reimold to the roster Friday and released outfielder Xavier Paul.

Reimold, 30, was claimed off waivers by the D-backs on Thursday from the Blue Jays.

Originally drafted by the Orioles in the second round of the 2005 First-Year Player Draft, Reimold played parts of five seasons in Baltimore. In 2013 he spent a large part of the season recovering from surgery to repair a herniated disk in his neck and was designated for assignment by the Orioles on July 1 this year.

Claimed by the Blue Jays, Reimold hit .212 in 60 plate appearances before Toronto placed him on waivers.

"It was kind of a whirlwind," Reimold said of this season. "I changed teams for the second time now this year and the second time in my career, too. A lot of packing, moving and learning new names and doing all that kind of stuff."

Reimold had to have the same surgery on his neck twice, a procedure similar to what NFL quarterback Peyton Manning had.

"It's a been a long, very long recovery," he said. "I wished I'd knocked it out in one surgery, but I ended up having to get it corrected. Those two things and I had everything that goes along with it with the arm and that sort of thing. It takes a long time to get back. I've come a long way and I'm ready to get started again and restart my career."

D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said he envisioned using Reimold much like Paul -- as a pinch-hitter with an occasional start in left field.

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Even injured, Goldy finding ways to contribute

First baseman talks to teammates about opposing pitchers, helps during BP

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PHOENIX -- D-backs first baseman Paul Goldschmidt saw his season come to a crashing halt on Aug. 1 when he was struck in the left hand by an Ernesto Frieri fastball.

A recent X-ray showed that the fractured hand is healing, but Goldschmidt won't be able to play in games until next season, and it will be another few weeks before he's even able to start strengthening exercises.

The injury has kept Goldschmidt off the field, but he has been determined to find ways to help his teammates. Whether it's sharing tips on playing first base, standing behind the cage during batting practice, or even feeding baseballs to coaches hitting early grounders to his teammates, he has done what he can to contribute.

Recently, Goldschmidt sat down with MLB.com to discuss how he's dealt with his injury and rehabilitation.

MLB.com: How difficult has it been for you to not be able to play?

Goldschmidt: It's just different. Sure, you'd rather be playing, but it's just part of it. Things happen, so I'm not going to feel sorry for myself. I'm just going to come in every day and do what I can do to help. If I do that to the best of my ability, that's all you can really do.

MLB.com: Is this the first time you've ever been hurt and had to miss a significant period of time?

Goldschmidt: Yes. It is what it is. I mean, there are some workouts that I can do even with the injury, so I come in and try to get after those. Then I watch the game and see if there might be something I could notice, or help or talk to guys about, and I do that. Otherwise, I stay out of the way and let them play.

MLB.com: You seem to be even busier pregame since you've been hurt. Why is that?

Goldschmidt: I don't know if I'm busier; it's just different. I want to be around the cage for batting practice and in the dugout for the game. I don't want to have to do any of my rehab stuff at those times, so I try to get it all done before batting practice. Instead of preparing for the game, I'm just going through my checklist for the rehab stuff I have to do every day, where before I was just preparing for the game every night.

MLB.com: It seems like you're behind the batting cage with [hitting coach Turner Ward] every day. Are you just observing? Or are you also helping guys?

Goldschmidt: I'd rather be doing that than sitting in the locker room. So I just come out and talk to guys. Sometimes it's non-baseball stuff, sometimes it's baseball. I can still learn, so I talk hitting approaches, still talking starting pitchers and their bullpen. I'll probably see a lot of these guys next year, so during the game, I might pick up stuff, or maybe these guys see something that I haven't. Or maybe I've had more history with a pitcher and I can share something with them about him. Guys are always sharing information, and I can still do that, even if I can't go out there and play.

When I was playing and [Cliff] Pennington was hurt, I was still talking to him on a daily basis during games. He knows a lot of the pitchers and we know each other's approaches and swings, so it was nice to be able to bounce ideas off people. So I'm here for that. Not necessarily saying that it's happening with every guy or that it needs to, but I try to be here to support the guys, even if it's just literally standing there behind the cage.

MLB.com: So during the games, you're just talking baseball and different pitchers?

Goldschmidt: Yeah, sometimes, like I said, it can be, "I've faced this guy and this is what he did to me." Other times, it's just watching the game. I'm not as locked in as when I'm playing, but especially when it comes to teams in our division, or teams in the National League, or maybe guys I haven't faced, I'm paying attention, so maybe I'll pick something up that I can use for next year. That way I'm not just wasting time where I'm just sitting here for three hours just watching the game. I may not be able to pick up anything, but I may find something for next year that could help.

MLB.com: You haven't gone on any of the road trips since you've been hurt. Do you miss being around the guys when they're on the road?

Goldschmidt: It's more fun to be with them, but it's just something you have to adjust to. I go to Salt River [Fields] every day to get my workouts in, so I don't want to sound like I'm complaining about not being on the road. I would just definitely rather be playing, but it is what it is.


Miley falls victim to Kershaw's brilliance

D-backs lefty is solid, but Dodgers ace finds vintage form

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PHOENIX -- The last time Clayton Kershaw took the mound at Chase Field, the D-backs torched him for seven runs in 1 2/3 innings.

Early in the game Wednesday night, it looked like they might get to the Dodgers' ace again, but despite multiple opportunities, the D-backs dropped the second contest of a short two-game series with the National League West leaders, 3-1.

"He's got great stuff. Don't cut him short. But you hope you make better use of your opportunities," manager Kirk Gibson said. "It's frustrating."

The D-backs had more chances to score against Kershaw than many teams can boast. In the 18 starts since Kershaw imploded against the D-backs on May 17, he has pitched to a 1.29 ERA.

But the D-backs could have easily raised that.

They loaded the bases with one out in the third inning -- the first time Kershaw has pitched with the bases loaded this season -- but couldn't bring in a run.

The next inning, the D-backs put up their only run of the game. Alfredo Marte led off the frame with a double and scored on an error when left fielder Scott Van Slyke struggled to get Jordan Pacheco's single back to the infield after he injured his right ankle gathering a misplay by center fielder Yasiel Puig. Pacheco was standing on second with no outs, but he was stranded.

Arizona's last real chance at getting to Kershaw (16-3) came in the fifth when Ender Inciarte led off with a triple. But the ace lefty got two strikeouts and a popout to end the inning and retired 12 of the next 13 batters he faced. He finished the game with 10 strikeouts in eight innings while allowing only the one unearned run.

"Reality is he's a pretty tough dude to do too much against," said Mark Trumbo, who went 0-for-2 with runners in scoring position against Kershaw. "But a big hit at some point would have been real nice."

Said Kershaw: "It was a bad start, really. There were guys on base the whole night; I had to work out of jams. Fortunately, I got through eight innings."

The D-backs finished the game 2-for-11 with runners in scoring position. Although they had more opportunities to bring in runs than the Dodgers, Los Angeles capitalized on their chances.

All three Dodgers runs came in one poor inning from D-backs starter Wade Miley (7-10), who went six innings despite struggling with command on Wednesday, which kept him from matching up with Kershaw.

"Everybody knows he's one of the best to play the game in a long time," Miley said. "So tip your hat to him. He threw the ball great tonight."

Miley allowed two runners to get on to start the third inning, and both scored on a double by Matt Kemp, who attempted to turn the double into a triple and got thrown out in the process.

The baserunning mistake cost the Dodgers a run, as Van Slyke, who is 8-for-18 with five career home runs off Miley, homered two batters later.

"It was actually a pretty good pitch," Miley said. "I went and looked at it and kind of did what I wanted to do. Really didn't even want to get a swing there, wanted to go in-off [off the plate inside], and I did."

But the lost run proved unnecessary, as Kershaw cruised through the rest of the game, and Kenley Jansen came in for his 100th career save, keeping the Dodgers five games ahead of the Giants for the division lead.

"It stinks. You want to get the job done, especially against a good ballclub like this," Trumbo said. "But you got to take your medicine sometimes."

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Corbin likely to miss most of 2015's first half

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PHOENIX -- D-backs fans shouldn't expect Patrick Corbin back on the mound any time in the near future.

Manager Kirk Gibson said Tuesday that Corbin's likely return date would be June 2015, and Corbin confirmed the news on Wednesday.

"I figured [I would] probably miss a month or so of next season," Corbin said.

Corbin, who had Tommy John surgery on his left elbow in March, said he will start a throwing program on Sept. 8 and throw for about two months before shutting down the arm until January.

"I'm going to try to be as ready as I can, and we'll see," Corbin said.

Corbin, a 2013 All-Star in his second season, is one of five D-backs pitchers who are on the disabled list after having the elbow reconstruction procedure -- the others being Bronson Arroyo, David Hernandez, Daniel Hudson and Matt Reynolds.

"We've got a lot of guys going through it together," Gibson said. "So they're able to keep each other pumped up and on track."

Corbin said he and Hernandez have had the most to commiserate about, as they're in similar stages of recovery, while Hudson and Reynolds are ahead of them.

"It makes things easier, to ask those guys questions," Corbin said. "They've gone through everything we've gone through. … The biggest thing is you can talk to them about how you're arm's feeling and what to expect."

Hudson certainly knows the deal. He hasn't pitched the Majors since 2012 after having two surgeries on his right elbow, but he is the closest to returning and is currently on a rehab assignment with Triple-A Reno, where he pitched a scoreless inning on Tuesday.

Gibson said after this spate of elbow injuries, the organization is going to be more conservative with its pitchers. Part of that includes going to a six-man rotation to close out this season.

"It makes sense, given the challenge that lies ahead of us and wanting to keep guys going," Gibson said. "You're giving them another day to recover. I think you're trying to be cautious by doing that.

"There's been so much talk about guys getting hurt -- Why does it happen? What can you do to prevent it? -- that we're trying to be somewhat proactive in giving guys extra time to recover."

{"content":["injury" ] }
{"event":["prospect" ] }

Bradley leads host of D-backs to AFL

Bradley leads host of D-backs to AFL play video for Bradley leads host of D-backs to AFL

PHOENIX -- Seven D-backs Minor Leaguers, including No. 1 prospect Archie Bradley, were named to the Arizona Fall League's Salt River Rafters' roster on Tuesday.

Pitchers Enrique Burgos, Kaleb Fleck and Jimmie Sherfy will join Bradley on the Rafters' pitching staff, and catcher Peter O'Brien, infielder Brandon Drury and outfielder Evan Marzilli will see time in the field.

Bradley, who is MLB.com's No. 11 overall prospect, had climbed up the Minor League ranks quickly after being drafted and was a possible rotation option for this season. But right elbow soreness slowed his progress, and he has spent most of his season with Double-A Mobile, where he has a 3.31 ERA in 11 starts.

Bradley going to the AFL means it's unlikely he will receive a September callup to the Major Leagues when rosters expand on Monday.

The D-backs' top two position players going to the Rafters, Drury and O'Brien, are ranked No. 6 and 7 in the D-backs' system, respectively.

Drury has split this season between Class A Advanced Visalia and Mobile, succeeding with both teams. Drury has a combined 23 home runs this season and an .892 OPS.

O'Brien, whom the D-backs acquired from the Yankees in the Martin Prado trade, has also shown substantial power, hitting 34 home runs across three levels of the Minors this season.

The final top-20 prospect the D-backs are sending to the AFL is Sherfy, who ranks 17th.

Sherfy has struggled to keep his run total down out of the bullpen with Visalia and Mobile, but his strikeout numbers have been a plus. In his short Minor League career, he is averaging 13.1 strikeouts per nine innings.

The other three -- Burgos, Fleck and Marzilli -- have had mixed results this season. Burgos and Fleck have had success, both posting ERAs under 3.00 with Visalia and Mobile, respectively. But Marzilli has struggled in Double-A, hitting only .248 with a .696 OPS in 75 games.

The Rafters open their fall season on Oct. 7 against the Scottsdale Scorpions.

{"event":["prospect" ] }

Goldy honored for heart and hustle

Goldy honored for heart and hustle play video for Goldy honored for heart and hustle

PHOENIX -- First baseman Paul Goldschmidt was honored for being named the D-backs' winner of the Heart and Hustle Award before Tuesday's game against the Dodgers.

Goldschmidt, a two-time All-Star, was named the D-backs' recipient of the honor in July.

The Heart and Hustle Award, which is chosen by committees made up of former Major Leaguers, recognizes players who demonstrate a passion for baseball and best embody the values, spirit and tradition of the sport.

Each team has a player selected as a preliminary winner, and the final winner will be announced at the 15th annual Legends for Youth Dinner in New York City on Nov. 18. Past winners of the award include Albert Pujols, Roy Halladay and Mike Trout.

"He displays every trait that they define for that award," manager Kirk Gibson said. "He's a great choice."

Goldschmidt, who leads the D-backs in home runs, RBIs and OPS, has been on the disabled list since Aug. 2 with a fractured left hand.

Despite the injury, Goldschmidt still dedicates time to the D-backs as well as to his rehab.

"He's Goldy," Gibson said. "He'll never just be around and not try to get better or make his teammates better."


Cahill gets knocked around by Dodgers

Righty's off night, two costly replays are D-backs' undoing

Cahill gets knocked around by Dodgers play video for Cahill gets knocked around by Dodgers

PHOENIX -- If there were contending teams looking at Trevor Cahill as a possible August trade pickup, the D-backs right-hander certainly didn't increase his value on Tuesday night.

The Dodgers scored eight runs against Cahill as they rolled past the D-backs, 9-5, at Chase Field.

Earlier in the day, there were conflicting rumors about whether the Angels were targeting Cahill to help fill the hole in the rotation left by the injury to Garrett Richards.

One thing there was no debate about -- this was not a good outing for Cahill.

"It's one game, but it wasn't a very good performance tonight," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said. "He'd tell you the same thing."

The Dodgers jumped on Cahill in the first inning when Matt Kemp smacked a two-out, two-run homer to left.

The D-backs managed to tie the score in the second when Ender Inciarte singled home a pair of runs.

The National League West leaders, though, would put the game away in a wild, six-run fourth inning that saw a pair of replay reviews go against the D-backs.

The inning started with Cahill allowing a pair of walks. One out later, Carl Crawford and Justin Turner collected back-to-back run-scoring singles.

That's when the inning got interesting.

A.J. Ellis followed with a single to center and Inciarte threw home to Miguel Montero, who was ruled to have tagged Crawford at the plate.

Dodgers manager Don Mattingly came out to ask home-plate umpire Will Little to review the play, believing that Montero had violated Rule 7.13 by blocking the plate.

While the crew-chief review showed Montero did not block the plate, it also revealed that while he tagged Crawford with his mitt, the ball was actually in his bare hand, so the out call was overturned and the Dodgers led, 5-2.

Los Angeles pitcher Roberto Hernandez then laid down a bunt that brought home a run, but not before another replay. Hernandez was called out by first-base umpire Gerry Davis, but Mattingly challenged the call and the play was overturned.

"I was definitely trying not to walk anymore guys, but I think I just kind of got wild in the zone after that and when I got ahead couldn't put anyone away," Cahill said. "They've got a long lineup and there's no easy outs, so it just kind of snowballed on me."

The Dodgers would send 11 men to the plate, benefit from two replays and score six runs in the inning to take an 8-2 lead.

"We started off the fourth inning with two walks, and then he was nibbling," Gibson said of Cahill. "Struck out Ramirez and then just got behind and was throwing balls down the middle of the plate. They did a good job of getting on them. Eight runs later, couldn't cut it off. Wasn't his best performance tonight."

The outing came on the heels of five consecutive quality starts for Cahill, who had begun to put things together after spending some time in the Minor Leagues this year to work on mechanical issues.

"Today, just none of my offspeed was working, so I had to throw a lot of fastballs, and I was either wild or wild in the zone," Cahill said. "They're a good team and they're going to make you pay."

Cahill was not ready to panic, though, believing the trouble could easily be corrected for his next start.

"I think I kind of dropped my arm slot a little bit and everything was flat," Cahill said. "There wasn't as much depth on my fastball as there was in the past."

Hernandez (8-9) allowed three runs on six hits over six innings to pick up the win, while Cahill fell to 3-9.

{"content":["replay" ] }

Replays help LA post six runs in Arizona

Replays help LA post six runs in Arizona play video for Replays help LA post six runs in Arizona

PHOENIX -- The Dodgers had replays go their way on back-to-back plays in a six-run fourth inning that sent the National League West leaders to a 9-5 win over the D-backs on Tuesday night at Chase Field.

In the first review, on a single by A.J. Ellis, Carl Crawford was called out at the plate by umpire Will Little.

Dodgers manager Don Mattingly asked for a crew-chief review to determine whether Arizona catcher Miguel Montero violated Rule 7.13 by illegally blocking the plate. Mattingly said once the play was under review, the umpires were obligated to also review whether the actual call was correct. Dodgers bench coach Tim Wallach had immediately noticed that Montero had the ball in his bare hand while tagging Crawford with an empty glove.

"There was no doubt once you see the replay; he tagged him with an empty glove," said Mattingly.

The review determined that Montero did not make an illegal block of home, but it also revealed that Wallach's assessment was correct. So, the call was overturned, Crawford was ruled safe, Montero received an error and Mattingly didn't even have to risk his manager's challenge.

"What you see on the scoreboard is not as clear as what [officials at the Replay Command Center] look at," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said. "They had it reviewed under 7.13, which everybody is going to do. They reviewed the whole play under that provision, and [crew chief Gerry Davis] told me that he was not blocking the plate, but they determined that the ball was not in his glove."

Asked whether he felt it was fair for a manager to request a crew-chief review for blocking the plate, essentially to get a free manager's challenge, Gibson said: "They make the rules; we follow them. I'm not going to sit here and dispute what the rules mean. It's the same for everybody. [Mattingly] did it correctly. He appealed under 7.13. I would've done the same thing. Every manager's going to do it that way. There's no problem."

The next batter was pitcher Roberto Hernandez, whose attempted sacrifice bunt got past pitcher Trevor Cahill. Cahill retreated to get the ball and threw to first, where Davis ruled Hernandez out. That call was challenged by Mattingly and also overturned. Hernandez was safe at first with an RBI single.

Ellis then scored on a two-run single by Dee Gordon that chased Cahill, and Hernandez scored on a sacrifice fly by Adrian Gonzalez.

The inning ended with the Dodgers ahead, 8-2.

Mattingly reiterated his opinion that the language on Rule 7.13 needs to be "clarified" on how and where a catcher can set up to receive a throw and make a tag.

"From the beginning, replay has been a work in progress," he said. "It will continue to get better."

But, he said, it has accomplished its primary mission.

"It's definitely taken collisions out," he said. "It's given an advantage to the catcher on that. But the language is cloudy. It's doing what it's supposed to do as far as getting rid of collisions, but I think the language needs clarification. In Spring Training, the language was changing all the time, and it causes this. It's the interpretation of the guys in the [Replay Command Center] in New York. You get on exactly the same play, one calls it out, one calls it safe."

The Dodgers finally lost a review in the bottom of the fifth inning, when it was ruled that David Peralta did not come off the bag when his left left elevated after his slide into second base while shortstop Hanley Ramirez was tagging him. The call by second-base umpire Greg Gibson was allowed to stand after review, Peralta saved by a heel spike on his other foot.

{"content":["replay" ] }
{"content":["replay" ] }

Q&A with Diamondbacks GM Kevin Towers

Q&A with Diamondbacks GM Kevin Towers play video for Q&A with Diamondbacks GM Kevin Towers

PHOENIX -- Diamondbacks general manager Kevin Towers recently completed a tour of the organization's Minor League affiliates, visiting Triple-A Reno, Double-A Mobile as well as both Class A teams in Visalia and South Bend.

Towers talked with MLB.com about what he saw on his travels as well as his relationship with chief baseball officer Tony La Russa and whether we will see top prospect Archie Bradley in September.

MLB.com: You just finished visiting your Minor League teams. How did that go?

Towers: I was very impressed with the coaching staffs at all the different levels. [Farm director Mike Bell] did a great job putting them together. From Andy Green to Robby Hammock to Phil Nevin to Mark Haley, just great staffs. I was very impressed with all of our Minor League teams -- the way they played the game. They played the game the right way, they hustled, they played with energy. All those teams are winning.

MLB.com: What stood out the most to you on the field?

Towers: Bullpen arms are probably what stood out the most. Every level I went to, it looked like I was seeing guys that were throwing 95 to 101 mph. I saw [Will] Locante in South Bend. He looked like Billy Wagner. I watched him punch out the side and he didn't go below 97 with an 80 slider [on a 20-80 scouting scale]. The day I saw him, big league hitters couldn't have hit him. Lot of deception and power.

[Silvino] Bracho, the closer in South Bend, was good. The starter that [scouting director Ray Montgomery] took out of this year's Draft, Brent Jones, looked very good. He threw great.

[Anthony] Banda was good, the kid we got from Milwaukee. He's had like five quality starts since he's been in South Bend.

Andrew Velazquez is a good looking little player. Another middle infielder to add to the mix. He played solid shortstop, he showed power, hit an inside-the-park home run while I was there. He's a little bit like [Adam] Eaton in that he's one of those guys that's an igniter.

MLB.com: How about in Mobile and Visalia?

Towers: [Brandon] Drury was on fire when I was there in Double-A. I mean he was swinging the bat very well, which is nice to see that he stepped it up a level and was still producing offensively.

[Braden] Shipley and [Aaron] Blair were both great. I saw them back to back, and it was two of their better starts. Shipley hit a home run. He had to come out with a blister, but both were very impressive.

The bullpen in Mobile was outstanding. Kaleb Fleck and Jimmie Sherfy have power-type stuff.

And Visalia, [Enrique] Burgos hit 100 mph five times and 101 mph twice and 102 mph once, I mean just a power, power arm.

MLB.com: Because of the depth of middle infielders you have, it sounds like you're going to take a look at Aaron Hill at third at some point over the next six weeks. Is he a possibility at third base next year?

Towers: Especially if you want Didi [Gregorius] and [Chris] Owings to be on the club and you've still got [Cliff Pennington] and [Nick] Ahmed. So [manager Kirk Gibson] and I spent some time talking, and it might be something next year with Hill. That's not to say he's going to become a third baseman, but if he's able to play over there, it will create more at-bats for him and allow us to create more at-bats for some of our other young middle infielders.

MLB.com: This last month of this season, is there anything in particular that you're looking for from the big league club? Might we see some other guys like an Archie Bradley come up?

Towers: Probably doubtful. I think most of our young guys other than Archie are probably up here, and Archie doesn't have to be added to the 40-man roster this winter. I think just based on the fact that he's making some progress, I don't want to put him into this situation yet. I think it's more we'd probably look at [Andrew] Chafin and maybe [Randall] Delgado to get some starts if we decide to go with a six-man rotation. We also just want to continue to look at our young guys and get a good evaluation on them, so this winter we know who we want to commit to and who we think is expendable.

MLB.com: Tony La Russa has said recently that there are a lot of good things going on in the organization, and it seems like you two have developed a good rapport so far.

Towers: He's been great. It's nice to have a guy that's been as successful in uniform around. Our dialogue has been good. I mean he's a baseball guy, he's easy to talk to. It's nice to be able to pick his brain. I always wanted to pick his brain when he was in the other dugout with the Cardinals. Now when you have him on the same team, it's very valuable -- not just to me but the entire organization to have someone with his knowledge and success here. I think he's been happy with Ray. I think he's been happy with Mike. He's seen our Minor Leagues, and I think he likes some of the things that are going on down there. But I'm sure he's still evaluating, and hopefully by the end of the year, he'll have a better idea of kind of my situation and everyone else's situation.


Wild Anderson loses grip on Padres

Rookie walks four as D-backs miss out on sweep

Wild Anderson loses grip on Padres play video for Wild Anderson loses grip on Padres

PHOENIX -- Chase Anderson entered Sunday's game against the Padres looking to make up for his subpar two-inning, six-run outing against the Marlins on Aug. 19. He didn't get what he wanted.

Anderson struggled through five innings and the D-backs missed out on completing a sweep of the Padres, falling, 7-4, at Chase Field.

"Five of their seven runs came on home runs and walks today," manager Kirk Gibson said. "In this ballpark, that's not what you want to do. Got to keep the ball out of the air."

Anderson gave up a pair of runs in the first after allowing back-to-back singles to start the game, but both runners scored on what proved to be productive outs.

After the rocky first inning, it looked like Anderson had settled down as he pitched three scoreless frames.

But in the fifth, his command failed him.

Anderson (7-6) walked Padres starting pitcher Ian Kennedy to start the inning after going ahead in the count, 0-2. He then threw four straight balls to Yangervis Solarte. He almost escaped the self-inflicted jam, getting a double play from Rymer Liriano, but another walk led to what ended up being the decisive blow.

After Seth Smith walked, Yasmani Grandal crushed a 1-0 fastball into the right-field stands, giving the Padres a 5-0 lead.

"I kind of just lost feel in that fifth inning," Anderson said. "I can't really tell you why. I felt good going into the game, my command was coming back to my fastball in the third and fourth innings, so no real rhyme or reason. Just got to work on it."

Said Grandal: "He was a little wild and not throwing strikes. When a guy is like that, you're looking for a fastball to hit."

Anderson left the game after the inning, tying his career high with four walks and ultimately being saddled with his sixth loss.

While Anderson struggled, Kennedy (10-11) cruised early in the game, not running into trouble until the fifth inning, when the D-backs started to mount a comeback.

After loading the bases, the D-backs got on the board with a two-run single by Miguel Montero. Ender Inciarte cut the deficit to two with an RBI double in the next inning.

But the D-backs could not keep the Padres within reach.

With reliever Matt Stites on the mound in the eighth inning, pinch-hitter Will Venable extended the Padres' lead back to four runs with a two-run homer, effectively ending any momentum the D-backs had.

"They got huge hits," Gibson said. "Five runs came on the home run. That's two hits. That's what you hope to do."

Cliff Pennington got a run back for the D-backs with a home run in the bottom of the eighth, but the team went down in order in the ninth.

"We had opportunities," Gibson said. "We left 10 guys out there today. They got more of their guys in than we did."


Lamb celebrates first homer with style

Lamb celebrates first homer with style play video for Lamb celebrates first homer with style

PHOENIX -- Rookie third baseman Jake Lamb's mother called him while he was on his way home after hitting his first Major League home run on Saturday, but he declined the call.

Lamb, who has played 13 games with the D-backs, was lost trying to find his way home from the stadium.

"She got mad and asked if I was big leaguing her," Lamb said. "I was like, 'No, I'm not. I'm lost. I need to find my way back home.'"

Although he may not know his way around the Phoenix area, he does know his way around the bases. He had 15 homers in the Minor Leagues before the D-backs called him up on Aug. 7 before hitting his first big league blast in the second inning against the Padres on Saturday.

"I'm never one to hide my emotions," Lamb said. "I was smiling around the bases a little bit."

But once Lamb got to the dugout, he and his teammates' reaction to the homer became almost as noteworthy as the actual blast.

The rest of the team gave Lamb the silent treatment as he stepped back into the dugout, pretending to ignore the rookie. In response, Lamb high-fived imaginary teammates as he walked down the steps, a move that made its rounds on the Internet.

"I love having fun, so it was my own little thing," Lamb said. "I've seen a few people do it before and saw that there was nobody giving me high-fives, so I went for it."

The homer and subsequent gags may help Lamb loosen up as he continues his first Major League stint. Before Saturday's game, he was struggling to adjust to the Majors. He was hitting .190 entering the game.

"It's just part of the process, why we decided to bring him up," manager Kirk Gibson said. "To see what kind of adjustments he could make and thought it would be beneficial looking forward into the next year."


Gregorius' three-run shot in eighth tops Padres

Nuno allows just two hits in 7 1/3 but can't earn first D-backs win

Gregorius' three-run shot in eighth tops Padres play video for Gregorius' three-run shot in eighth tops Padres

PHOENIX -- It's hard to keep your head up when you make adjustments and they don't pay off immediately.

Manager Kirk Gibson said Didi Gregorius had been changing things up lately, but the results weren't showing on the field. Entering Saturday's game, Gregorius had a .056 average (2-for-36) in his last 10 games.

"He's been working very hard, and he hasn't had instant gratification or instant results," Gibson said.

That changed in the course of the few seconds in the eighth inning of Saturday's game.

Gregorius launched a three-run homer that put the D-backs ahead 5-2 late in the game, giving them a series-clinching victory over the Padres at Chase Field.

"I thought it was just a line drive," Gregorius said. "It went over, and I'll take that."

Said Padres pitcher Kevin Quackenbush: "I just missed my spot. I wanted to go in on his hands and I just missed."

The game-winning homer took the burden off Oliver Perez, who allowed the game-tying hit in the top half of the inning.

The D-backs held a 2-0 lead for most of the game, but the Padres forced starter Vidal Nuno into a jam late.

Nuno, who had pitched seven scoreless innings in arguably the best game of his career, hit Rymer Liriano to lead off the inning before giving up a single to Cameron Maybin and a walk to Alexi Amarista, loading the bases.

"I hit that guy, and sure enough it just led to another, and two guys later it was bases loaded out of nowhere," Nuno said.

Gibson put in Perez, who struck out pinch-hitter Jedd Gyorko and got a 0-2 count on Yangervis Solarte, who took the two-strike sinker up the middle for a game-tying, two-run single.

Before that inning, Nuno had dominated the Padres' lineup.

In his ninth start for the D-backs, he allowed only one hit through seven innings, cruising right up until the eighth. His struggles in the eighth were even more surprising given his low pitch count -- he was at only 72 pitches entering the inning.

"He had a sneaky fastball and a decent breaking ball and changeup," Padres manager Bud Black said. "We hadn't faced him before and I've said it before, when that happens the advantage usually goes to the pitcher."

Despite his solid pitching since joining the team, Nuno still hasn't recorded his first victory as a D-back -- a fact that doesn't bother Nuno.

"It's part of the game," he said. "We try to go deep into ballgames, and the outcome has been unlucky. But just keep on fighting, and one day, I'll get it."

Nuno did have a small victory at the plate in the second inning, picking up his first Major League hit.

A bigger, flashier first came earlier in the inning. Rookie third baseman Jake Lamb took a 1-1 changeup into the pool area in right-center field for his first big league home run.

"It was kind of getting on my mind a little bit, so just to get one out of the way feels great," Lamb said.

The solo shot gave the D-backs a 2-0 lead, which looked as if it would be the final score as Nuno carved up the Padres' lineup.

Fortunately for the D-backs, when that lead did cave, Gregorius was there to get it right back.

"It's good to see that that happened to him tonight because he has been working," Gibson said. "He hasn't been rewarded much, but tonight, it came through for him."


D-backs plan to go to six-man rotation

D-backs plan to go to six-man rotation play video for D-backs plan to go to six-man rotation

PHOENIX -- The D-backs are focusing on their pitching staff when it comes time to expand their roster to 40 players, manager Kirk Gibson said Saturday.

Gibson said the team plans to go to a six-man rotation in order to preserve its pitchers' arms, but he said the club has not decided whom that sixth person will be.

"A lot of it depends on [Triple-A] Reno," Gibson said. "They're one game back now. They get in the playoffs, it's a timing thing. If their season ends on time, then you go one way. If the season ends after the playoffs, it changes the way things would play out."

One possible candidate is Randall Delgado, who has been relegated to the bullpen since April.

Delgado made two starts earlier in the season, but they did not go well. He gave up nine runs in 7 1/3 innings and was quickly removed from the rotation. Gibson said if Delgado does join the rotation, he would still need to be stretched out, saying Delgado could throw 55-60 pitches now.

Since then, the 24-year-old has been better, if streaky. In 37 relief appearances, Delgado has a 5.26 ERA, but he is also averaging 11.6 strikeouts per nine innings. In some stretches, he has looked downright dominant.

"He's always had a good fastball and a good changeup," Gibson said. "His breaking ball is much better now.

"There's probably a curiosity, if you gave him a chance to start, would it help him work his way through to more consistency? That question hasn't been answered yet."

Whoever does join the rotation will likely be giving starters Chase Anderson and Josh Collmenter a rest.

Anderson has already passed his highest innings mark of his professional career, and Collmenter is quickly approaching his career high.

"We don't have anything particular right now in stone of how far we let one guy go how many innings," Gibson said. "We have a generalization."


Owings will get time at second when he returns

Owings will get time at second when he returns play video for Owings will get time at second when he returns

PHOENIX -- If it's possible for any team to have too much middle-infield depth, then the D-backs may be that team.

The last two seasons have hosted the coming-out parties for shortstops Didi Gregorius and Chris Owings, and both young infielders have shown flashes that indicate they could hold down the position in years to come.

Behind the two of them is Nick Ahmed, who made a name for himself by batting down a potential double-play throw to first to clinch a walk-off win for the D-backs on Aug. 3.

With veteran Aaron Hill signed through 2016 and rookie Jake Lamb getting an opportunity to prove himself at third base and Cliff Pennington performing well in a reserve role, that may leave only one open spot for the three players to fight over -- if all those players return.

"We do have a lot of talent there," manager Kirk Gibson said. "I don't know how [general manager Kevin Towers] will do that. … Every team changes every year. Some people are going to be gone, some people are going to be back and there will new additions to every team. I don't know out of our pool of guys who that will be."

So how do you divvy up playing time until then?

Right now, it's easy for Gibson. Owings has been on the disabled list since June 29 with a left shoulder injury, and Ahmed is at Triple-A Reno after a cup of coffee in the Majors. Gibson can pencil Gregorius into the lineup at shortstop nearly every day.

But Owings is currently on a rehab assignment with Reno and could be back with the D-backs shortly. Gibson's plan when the rookie shortstop returns is give him a shot at second base, where he played in Spring Training and where they'll give him some time on his rehab trip. He has played only 30 Major League innings at the position in his short career.

"I know he can play short," Gibson said. "So we have some games left here in the last month, why not put him over there at second?"

Barring any lingering effects from his shoulder injury, Owings looks like the surest bet to be the front-runner for the D-backs' starter at shortstop in 2015. Despite having missed nearly two months, he is fourth on the D-backs in WAR (wins above replacement), according to Fangraphs.com.

Gregorius, on the other hand, has showed off a slick glove, but has struggled at the plate. Through 52 games this season, he has a .213/.296/.362 slash line.

"Those things will work themselves out," Gibson said. "We're not really [talking about] position players very much."


Collmenter gives credit to defensive gems

Collmenter gives credit to defensive gems play video for Collmenter gives credit to defensive gems

PHOENIX -- Lost in the midst of Josh Collmenter's excellent start to open the D-backs' series with the Padres on Friday were a trio of excellent defensive plays that helped seal Collmenter's gem.

"The defense made quite a few good plays behind me," Collmenter said.

The first two plays came just a few minutes apart. Padres pitcher Odrisamer Despaigne hit a sinking line drive into right-center field. Center fielder Ender Inciarte charged the ball and caught it on the dive after playing it perfectly, preventing Alexi Amarista from leaving first.

Not to be outdone, fellow rookie Venezuelan outfielder David Peralta made a play just as good one batter later.

Yangervis Solarte hit a one-hopper to Peralta in right field, which Peralta grabbed and hurled to third base, reaching Jake Lamb on the fly and nabbing Amarista by several feet.

"I knew as soon as I threw the ball [that I got him out]," Peralta said.

The final notable defensive play came four innings later at the end of the top of the seventh inning.

Jedd Gyorko grounded the ball into the hole between third base and shortstop. Lamb dove for the ball and missed, but shortstop Didi Gregorius was behind him. Gregorius backhanded the ball, sidearmed it to first and threw Gyorko out.

It wasn't close.

"As soon as I get in [the clubhouse], the guys are already saying funny stuff," Gregorius said. "They told me, 'At least make it look hard.'"


Brilliant Collmenter takes care of Padres

Brilliant Collmenter takes care of Padres play video for Brilliant Collmenter takes care of Padres

PHOENIX -- Things had not been going well for Josh Collmenter and the D-backs lately.

Collmenter was looking to improve on one of his worst stretches of the season after going 0-2 with an 8.50 ERA in his last four games. The D-backs just wrapped up a 2-8 road trip, with the Nationals walking off against them in three out of four games.

But both Collmenter and the D-backs as a whole turned around their slumps in a big way in their series opener against the Padres at Chase Field on Friday night.

Collmenter pitched 8 1/3 innings and was charged with only one run, and the D-backs picked up a 5-1 win to start their homestand on the right track.

"You come in there and it feels like home," manager Kirk Gibson said. "It's comfortable. They're in their training room, they're at their batting cage, on their field. ... We were beyond the road trip when we got here today."

Collmenter certainly made himself at home. He was dominant from the start.

The 28-year-old right-hander didn't allow a hit until the third inning, when he gave up two singles, but the Padres ran themselves out of any chance to get to him.

Alexi Amarista, who picked up the Padres' first hit, tried to go from first to third on a Yangervis Solarte single to right fielder David Peralta, but Peralta launched a throw to third to get Amarista out by several feet.

"I'm surprised he was running, because Peralta's got a pretty good arm," third baseman Jake Lamb said. "It was right on the money. ... It was a perfect throw."

From that point on, it was Collmenter's game.

Pitching with a four-run lead thanks to an early offensive outburst, Collmenter (9-7) retired 15 straight batters after the third inning, not allowing another baserunner until Amarista singled to start the ninth.

"The story was their guy," Padres manager Bud Black said of Collmenter. "We couldn't solve him. We've seen him a lot over the years. It's a sneaky fastball from a different arm slot. He commands the ball well and has a good change. We couldn't square anything up against him."

Collmenter's fastball was a matter of concern entering the game. In his previous outing, he struggled to get his usual high-80s fastball to its normal velocity, resulting in a four-inning, five-run loss to the Marlins.

But he got extra rest between starts, skipping his normal bullpen session. It didn't hurt, as he comfortably threw 106 pitches -- his second-highest total this season.

"I'm sure it [helped]," Collmenter said. "Gives the arm a little break. We've been going at it for quite a while now. August is usually the time [when] if you're going to get fatigued, you start feeling it. I think it was just good to rest and be 100 percent going into today."

Collmenter entered the ninth with the shutout intact, but Gibson took him out after he gave up a pair of singles.

The Padres finally pushed across a run on a passed ball by Miguel Montero, who hit a two-run homer in the first inning and added a double and a run scored in the eighth.

"I really didn't even want to put [Collmenter] out there in the ninth inning tonight, but he obviously had a shutout going," Gibson said. "I went as far as I was comfortable going with him. He was throwing 81 miles an hour in his last, so as much as I wanted to push him, it's not the right thing to do."


Ziegler says lack of command behind road woes

Ziegler says lack of command behind road woes play video for Ziegler says lack of command behind road woes

PHOENIX -- The recent road trip did not treat the D-backs well -- they went 2-8 -- but Brad Ziegler felt the rough stretch a little more acutely than most.

Ziegler's first and final games of the trip went fine, as he combined for 1 2/3 innings with no runs allowed, but in between he had a pair of blown saves and gave up three runs.

"I don't feel like it was a big adjustment," Ziegler said. "The results were better, so it looked better in the linescore."

He admits, however, that in the first of the blown saves, his command was off. He walked two batters in his one inning of work.

"He was trying to throw the ball ... aim it a little bit," manager Kirk Gibson said, adding that Ziegler's mechanics had been off as well.

Ziegler has been one of the D-backs' most dependable relievers since joining the team in 2011, but his struggles date back to before the road trip.

In his last 14 games going back to July 20, Ziegler has a 7.43 ERA in 13 1/3 innings. Opponents are hitting .370 off him, and he has walked seven while striking out eight.

But every player has bad stretches in his career, and Ziegler is no exception, saying he thinks he made better pitches in his last two outings.

"Things in this game even out over the long term," he said. "Over the course of a season or over the course of a career, there's going to be some fluctuation. But over the long haul, you typically end up kind of back in the same place."


Third Goldy 'Bleacher Creature' introduced

Third Goldy 'Bleacher Creature' introduced

PHOENIX -- Due to high demand and in conjunction with Alumni Night on Aug. 30, the D-backs and first baseman Paul Goldschmidt introduced a third, throwback Goldschmidt "Bleacher Creature" doll on Friday.

The doll is decked out in the D-backs' black alternate uniform from 1998 to 2000, and it joins the Bleacher Creatures sporting home whites and the Sedona Red uniform.

Those who make a tax-deductible $44 donation to Goldschmidt's charity, Goldy's Fund 4 Kids, can choose between the three. In addition, they will receiver $10 off a D-backs adjustable cap at the Chase Field Team Shop.

Donations can be made at dbacks.com/goldyfund or at the Chase Field Team Shop. Monies support programs to help families of patients at Phoenix Children's Hospital.


Ninth-inning error mars pitching duel for D-backs

Pacheco's errant throw allows game's only run to score

Ninth-inning error mars pitching duel for D-backs play video for Ninth-inning error mars pitching duel for D-backs

WASHINGTON -- The D-backs and Nationals hooked up in a pitchers' duel Thursday in which it felt like neither pitcher threw the ball particularly well.

And it ended with a walk-off throwing error.

Jordan Pacheco's ninth-inning throwing error allowed the Nationals to score the game-winning run as they beat the D-backs, 1-0, to complete the four-game sweep at Nationals Park.

"I should have come got it," Pacheco said referring to not charging the grounder. "I found myself kind of back too far and had to rush the throw a little bit and obviously made a bad throw."

The loss was the sixth in a row for the D-backs, while the Nationals are headed in the other direction having won 10 straight.

Denard Span singled with one out in the ninth and then stole second. Anthony Rendon then hit a chopper to Pacheco at third, and he fielded it cleanly, but his throw skipped by Mark Trumbo at first and bounced into the photo well next to the dugout, and Span was awarded home.

A light drizzle fell almost the entire game, but Pacheco said the ball was not slick.

"No, I had a good grip on it," he said. "I just had to rush it and, at that time, I was just caught in between and I should have come and got the ball and didn't come and get it. Obviously, our pitchers did well and in a game like that, you definitely don't want that to happen especially when your pitching staff has done so well all game. To have it end like that, it's definitely my fault. That's a horrible way to lose."

The two lefty starters -- Wade Miley and Gio Gonzalez -- each pitched into the seventh inning without allowing a run.

Gonzalez's outing appeared a bit cleaner than Miley's as he allowed four hits while walking three.

Still, it was not stress free for him as he pitched out of jams in the third and fifth innings.

Miley, on the other hand, was a veritable Houdini with the way he seemed to escape all forms of trouble.

"It was a grind," Miley said. "It was a battle. Those guys did a great job at the plate. They were laying off some pretty good pitches. I felt like it was bases loaded, one out every inning. I was just trying to make pitches and I was fortunate enough to get a couple of ground balls."

In his 6 2/3 innings, Miley allowed eight hits and six walks (one of which was intentional). The Nats left the bases loaded in the fifth and seventh innings, and three double plays helped Miley's cause.

Nats slugger Adam LaRoche, who won Monday's game with a home run in the 11th inning, left a village on the basepaths. In his first three at-bats, LaRoche came up with seven runners on base and was unable to get any of them in, twice hitting into inning-ending double plays.

Miley needed help to get out of his final jam in the seventh.

With two outs and a runner on first, Miley issued back-to-back walks to Jayson Werth and LaRoche, prompting D-backs manager Kirk Gibson to bring on rookie Matt Stites.

Stites came into the game pumping his high-90s fastball, and he got Wilson Ramos to fly out weakly to right to strand the bases loaded.

"Our guys pitched great," Gibson said. "Wade dug deep down inside. Stites came in and did a good job."

On the bright side for the D-backs, they are finally headed home after this miserable three-city, 10-game road trip that saw them go 2-8.

Five of the eight losses were by one run, and they scored a total of 21 runs.

"That's a credit to our pitching," Trumbo said of the close games. "We didn't give them any kind of support. Especially in this series, we didn't get the big hits when we needed whatsoever. There were some home runs that did help, but we never got that knockout punch to give us any kind of sizable lead."


Inciarte playing way into mix for next season

Inciarte playing way into mix for next season play video for Inciarte playing way into mix for next season

WASHINGTON -- There's no other way to say it: Ender Inciarte did not have a very good start to his big league career.

The D-backs outfielder had a .450 on-base plus slugging figure after his first 99 plate appearances this season.

Rather than be discouraged, though, the rookie dug in and in the 194 plate appearances that followed, he had a .736 OPS and a .298 batting average.

"I think it tells you a lot about the kid," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said. "He's kind of developed his game on this stage. He's finding the confidence to continue to make it better and not be scared that -- you get asked to do something and it makes you uncomfortable and it's hard to push through it, but he's really trusted it. To his credit, he's played really well for us."

With their playoffs hopes long since gone, the D-backs have turned their attention toward using the remaining games to figure out who can be a part of their team going forward.

And the way Inciarte has performed in the outfield as well as the leadoff spot has certainly put him in the conversation for 2015.

"I think one of the big things and the most interesting is when I moved him to leadoff," Gibson said. "He's a different player up there. I think it's showed more of his aptitude for the game. It's like it was a different position and he understood it. I think he's really excelled up there."


D-backs happy to get reacquainted with Williams

D-backs happy to get reacquainted with Williams play video for D-backs happy to get reacquainted with Williams

WASHINGTON -- When the D-backs made their way onto the field at Nationals Park for early batting practice Monday, there was a familiar face out there waiting for them.

Nationals manager Matt Williams, who coached for the D-backs from 2010-13 and before that was a player for them, as well as a minority investor in the team, wanted to make sure he greeted his old friends.

One of the D-backs who has missed Williams' presence the most is veteran second baseman Aaron Hill.

"I ran everything by him," Hill said of his relationship with Williams in Arizona. "Just about hitting and defense, I mean, he liked talking baseball. That's always fun."

The Nationals entered play Thursday with the best record in the National League at 72-53.

Gibson, who promoted Williams from first-base coach to third-base coach during his time as manager, participated in a joint interview with him for the D-backs pregame show Thursday.

"Matty is a new manager, new staff, they're just starting to gel," Gibson said. "Very strong club. They had a very good year last year. Continue to build off of that. They have a real opportunity ahead of them."

During his time as a player, Williams was known for his intensity, but as a coach and now manager, he has learned to temper it when needed.

"He's just such a welcoming person for everybody," Hill said. "Always got a smile, always positive, he's energetic, so it attracts good people and positiveness, so he's always fun to be around."

Gibson laughed when a reporter mentioned how relaxed Williams looked as a manager.

"When you win more games, it's much easier to relax," Gibson said. "I can tell you that from experience."


D-backs battle to tie, but Nats walk off winners

Inciarte's eighth-inning HR draws Arizona even after Cahill's strong start

D-backs battle to tie, but Nats walk off winners play video for D-backs battle to tie, but Nats walk off winners

WASHINGTON -- There were some positives to be taken from the D-backs' game with the Nationals on Wednesday night.

A win, however, was not one of them.

Anthony Rendon's ninth-inning single down the left-field line scored Bryce Harper as the Nationals walked off the D-backs, 3-2, at Nationals Park.

The win was the ninth in a row for the Nationals. Arizona has dropped its last five games.

"They've got it rolling and they overtook us again," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said.

Harper opened the ninth against Evan Marshall with a single to center, and one out later, a single to center by Kevin Frandsen moved Harper to third, from where he scored when Rendon's grounder got past a diving Cliff Pennington at third.

"It's definitely a game of inches," Marshall said of Rendon's grounder. "The game plan was to go in there and attack them and try to force a ball on the ground, a double play or at least get the guy in a rundown. [Rendon] worked his hands inside the ball and kept it fair and just right up the line."

The win was Washington's fourth walk-off in its last five games, and second in this series.

"It's a little stressful," said Rendon. "I have some gray [in my hair] coming in now. But it's good to be on the winning side of these walk-offs. As long as we get a 'W,' it's a good time."  

The Nats took a 1-0 lead in the second inning, when second baseman Aaron Hill had trouble getting the ball out of his glove on a potential double-play ball that would have ended the inning.

Combine that with Hill just missing Frandsen's ground-ball single up the middle in the ninth, and it added up to frustration for the veteran infielder.

"I should have made all the plays," Hill said. "The first one, it was unfortunate I couldn't get it out of my glove. The last one, honestly, I thought I was there, but it was hit a little harder than I thought. I should have made that play, as well. It was just one of those games where they were kind of picking on me. That's my job to stop it. But I'm beating myself up a little bit, because I know I should have made those plays. It's too bad."

Back-to-back doubles to open the sixth by Asdrubal Cabrera and Jayson Werth gave the Nats a 2-0 lead.

Those were the only two runs allowed by D-backs starter Trevor Cahill. The right-hander, who found himself back in Class A ball earlier this year trying to save his career, tossed 6 1/3 solid innings, scattering six hits and four walks while striking out five.

"Cahill was great," Gibson said.

It was the fifth straight quality outing for Cahill, who is showing that the team might be able to count on him to be a part of the rotation in 2015.

"I felt a lot better," Cahill said. "I know I had a couple of walks early on and then late, but that was probably the best I've felt, the best stretch I've had in a while, those middle innings. After the first two innings, I feel like I was able to settle down. A walk here and a walk there, I'd like to get those out of the way, but fortunately I was able to pitch around all but one."

Cahill struck out five, while the D-backs were unable to do much offensively against Washington starter Tanner Roark.

The right-hander held the D-backs scoreless while allowing five hits before departing after seven innings having thrown 99 pitches.

The Nats turned to setup man Tyler Clippard, and for the second time in the series, he was unable to hold onto a lead.

Pinch-hitter Jordan Pacheco greeted Clippard by drawing a walk, and Ender Inciarte followed with a home run to right field to tie the game at 2.

"Ender is turning into a real good player," Gibson said. "He's worked hard every day at all aspects of his game, and he's just applying it within the competition. It was just a fastball moving in on him, just kept his hands in, didn't try to do too much, good contact."

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