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Ninth-inning error mars pitching duel for D-backs

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

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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

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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."

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Overturned call at first gives D-backs inning-ending DP

Overturned call at first gives D-backs inning-ending DP play video for Overturned call at first gives D-backs inning-ending DP

WASHINGTON -- D-backs manager Kirk Gibson won a replay challenge of a call at first in the first inning on Thursday at Nationals Park.

With one out and runners at first and second, Washington's Adam LaRoche hit a grounder to second baseman Aaron Hill, who flipped to shortstop Cliff Pennington for the force out. Pennington then fired to first to attempt to turn the double play.

First-base umpire Bob Davidson called LaRoche safe at first and Gibson challenged the call.

After a brief review, the call was overturned and LaRoche was called out to end the inning.

{"content":["replay" ] }

D-backs happy to get reacquainted with Williams

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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."


D-backs' Stites has put good advice to work

D-backs' Stites has put good advice to work play video for D-backs' Stites has put good advice to work

WASHINGTON -- A pair of adjustments -- one mechanical, one mental -- appear to have been just what D-backs rookie reliever Matt Stites needed.

The 24-year-old, who was acquired in July 2013 via a trade with the Padres, made his big league debut June 19. After some initial success, he began to struggle and his ERA climbed to 6.59 after he was roughed up by the Tigers on July 23.

Stites then got a couple of pieces of advice, one from pitching coach Mike Harkey and another from catcher Miguel Montero.

Harkey suggested that Stites move from the first-base side to the third-base side of the pitching rubber.

Montero told him to stop trying to be too fine with his pitches and to trust his stuff.

"He's more aggressive," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said. "Believes in his stuff and understands the importance of where you throw it and when you throw it. I think right now, he's real confident. He's got a lot more life on his fastball. He's letting it go again. His velocity is back up and his slider is much better."

In his last nine games enetering play Wednesday, Stites had a 1.13 ERA in eight innings of work.


La Russa: Report on Gibson's future inaccurate

La Russa: Report on Gibson's future inaccurate

WASHINGTON -- Tony La Russa declined to meet with reporters Tuesday, but through a spokesperson, the D-backs' chief baseball officer said a USA Today report that stated the "D-backs currently plan to bring back" manager Kirk Gibson for 2015 was inaccurate.

La Russa directed reporters back to the comments he made Monday when asked about the job status of general manager Kevin Towers and Gibson, which did not indicate whether he was leaning one way or the other.

"I don't think the timing for each of those has to coincide," La Russa said. "I just think that at this point, we're at Aug. 18, I've been around three months, I've observed a lot, talked to and met with a lot of people in the organization. I have a much better idea. I just think the official comment is, we're at Aug. 18, the season is a month and 10 days from being over. So it won't be long until you have to trot out your plan officially."

Towers and Gibson each received contract extensions just prior to the start of Spring Training. At the time, the organization declined to reveal the length of the extensions, but they are believed to run through next season, as 2014 had been the final year of their prior deals.


Schilling: Cancer caused by smokeless tobacco

Former pitcher reveals he's battled oral cancer after 30 years of chewing

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There's another ballplayer lined up in the fight against smokeless tobacco.

Curt Schilling said Wednesday that he believes his use of smokeless tobacco led to oral cancer that required radiation and chemotherapy. Schilling revealed the type of cancer he had while speaking on WEEI Radio during the Boston station's annual fund-raising broadcast for the Jimmy Fund.

"I do believe without a doubt, unquestionably, that chewing is what gave me cancer," he said.

During the broadcast, Schilling issued a warning to smokeless tobacco users.

"It's like being given a death sentence without committing a crime," Schilling said.

The cause of ballplayers against smokeless tobacco deepened in June, when Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn died after battling cancer of the salivary gland. After Gwynn's passing, Commissioner Bud Selig and Tony Clark, the executive director of the Major League Baseball Players Association, both expressed a desire to end the use of tobacco in baseball.

"It will be a subject they'll discuss during the next collective bargaining," Selig said during the All-Star break. "I understand that individuals have a right to make their own decisions. I hope we're successful, because the Tony Gwynn story was a heartbreaking, awful story.

"I feel very strongly about this, just as I did 10, 15 years ago. The one thing I personally assume as Commissioner is that we're responsible for the health of our players. I believe that. Some may think that's naive, but I don't think so."

Schilling, who pitched in the Majors for 20 years, said that he used smokeless tobacco for 30 years and that he had been unable to kick the habit despite pain associated with it.

"It's a dangerously addictive habit that I wish I had never done," Schilling said.

Schilling had a heart attack in 2011 and required surgery to place a stent in one of his arteries, and he told WEEI on Wednesday that he has lost 75 pounds during his bout with cancer.

"I am in remission," Schilling said. "[However], I don't have any salivary glands. I can't taste anything and I can't smell anything."


Anderson chased in third as D-backs can't stop Nats

Righty charged with six runs allowed over two-plus innings in defeat

Anderson chased in third as D-backs can't stop Nats play video for Anderson chased in third as D-backs can't stop Nats

WASHINGTON -- Despite losing five of the first seven games on their current road trip, the D-backs could take some consolation in the fact that they were close games, with all but one decided by a single run.

Tuesday night's game, not so much.

The Nationals scored six runs in the third inning en route to an 8-1 win over the D-backs at Nationals Park.

The loss was the fourth straight for the D-backs, while the surging Nats, who own the best record in the National League, ran their winning streak to eight.

Chase Anderson has been the D-backs' best starter over the past month, but it was clear from the get-go that the rookie did not have his best command on Tuesday. And as a pitcher who lacks overpowering stuff, Anderson needs that command to be successful.

"I wouldn't say he's the kind of pitcher that has had great command so far this year, but he's always been able to make the pitch to get out of it," said D-backs manager Kirk Gibson. "These guys had a good approach against us, when he tried to make an out pitch, they were on it. He's pitched good, to be fair, for us, but tonight was just not his night."

Anderson (7-5) managed to escape the first two frames unscathed, but like dark skies in the distance, there were warning signs in how hard the Nats had hit the ball.

In the third, the skies opened up and the downpour of hits began.

The first six Washington hitters reached base against Anderson, and he was removed with three runs in and the bases loaded.

"I felt real good physically, I was just fighting myself not to rush to the plate and keep my front side closed," Anderson said. "That's kind of been the thing I've worked on all year, just tried to stay consistent with that command, but it's been kind of hit or miss. I felt fine, I just didn't execute."

Following Anderson's exit, Asdrubal Cabrera promptly unloaded the bases as he greeted reliever Eury De La Rosa with a double to right-center that gave the Nationals a 6-1 lead.

While Anderson made a quick exit, Nats starter Stephen Strasburg was in this one for the long haul.

"He had his fastball working, he was locating," D-backs second baseman Aaron Hill said. "He's one of the better fastball pitchers in the game, and we were hoping to maybe get his pitch count up a little bit and get into the bullpen, and it just didn't happen. He was pumping the strikes and did what he's capable of doing. He did a great job."

Strasburg allowed a two-out home run David Peralta in the first inning and then gave up just two hits the rest of the way as he went eight innings to improve to 10-10.

"I just wanted to go out there build off the last start and keep doing the things that I've been trying to work on," said Strasburg. "[Catcher Jose Lobaton] called a great game, we played great defense." 

"He threw the ball good, obviously," Gibson said. "We got the run in the first inning and he settled right down. We had minimal opportunities off him. He started with his fastball early, his change was good tonight, he's got a good breaking ball and he's much more polished than he used to be. He used to be more of a thrower, now he's got great stuff, electric, and he's certainly grown up to become a good pitcher, as well."

The D-backs are hoping that Anderson grows into the kind of pitcher who can occupy a spot in the rotation in the future. With that in the mind, the team is keeping a close eye on his innings total.

Last year, due to some injury issues, Anderson threw just 88 innings for Triple-A Reno. This year, between his early-season stint with Double-A Mobile and his 16 big league starts, he is already at 126 1/3 innings.

"Where his innings are is OK," Gibson said. "I told you we'd keep an eye on it, and he'll make his next start, for sure."


D-backs keeping up with Little League World Series

D-backs keeping up with Little League World Series

WASHINGTON -- There was a division within the D-backs' clubhouse Tuesday afternoon.

On one side, you had Oliver Perez, a native of Culiacan, Mexico, rooting for the Little League team from Mexico.

On the other, you had Ender Inciarte, David Peralta and Miguel Montero rooting for the Little League team from their native Venezuela.

Perez has been closely following the Guadalupe Linda Vista team from the outset and was excited by their 11-1 win over the team from Venezuela.

"It's a great experience for those kids," Perez said. "They get to come to this country and see things and get to meet other kids from all over the world."

Inciarte paid close attention to the team from Maracaibo, Venezuela, because he has a cousin on the team.


La Russa ready to assert influence with D-backs

Chief baseball officer to participate in instructional league next month

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WASHINGTON -- Next month, when the D-backs begin reporting for instructional league, you can expect chief baseball officer Tony La Russa to begin to assert his influence on how the organization plays the game.

La Russa, who was hired to the newly created position in May, has spent his first three months on the job observing and evaluating. He's visited the organization's Minor League affiliates, sat in on First-Year Player Draft preparations and played a role in the deliberations when it came to making decisions at the Trade Deadline.

Starting with the instructional league next month, La Russa said he will begin to have more of an impact.

Minor League players begin reporting for the instructional league on Sept. 12, and La Russa will have an opportunity to meet with the Minor League managers and field coordinators at that time. His plan is to share with them the many lessons that he has learned over his Hall of Fame career.

"For my purposes, it's important to get a head start on the instruction part," La Russa said. "Laying the framework. When you get to 2015, you're working from a base of ideas. It's not going to be all that dramatic."

La Russa is in charge of the entire baseball operations department, and managing general partner Ken Kendrick and CEO Derrick Hall made it clear when La Russa was hired that he would be the one making the ultimate call on whether to retain general manager Kevin Towers and manager Kirk Gibson.

La Russa was asked when he planned on making the final determination on the pair.

"I don't think the timing for each of those has to coincide," La Russa said. "I just think that at this point, we're at Aug. 18, I've been around three months, I've observed a lot, talked to and met with a lot of people in the organization. I have a much better idea. I just think the official comment is, we're at Aug. 18, the season is a month and 10 days from being over. So it won't be long until you have to trot out your plan officially. The instructional league and the part about how you play the game, I think we can start getting at that."

La Russa also plans to be involved in the planning of Spring Training next year, though, he hasn't decided whether or not he will be in uniform during the early days of drills.

"I expect that I'm going to have some significant suggestions," La Russa said. "I also think there will be some tweaks and minor adjustments. They all add up. I'm going to be heavily involved. That's one thing they hired me to do."


D-backs hang tough, but fall to Nats in DC

Nuno's strong start, late homers not enough in series opener

D-backs hang tough, but fall to Nats in DC play video for D-backs hang tough, but fall to Nats in DC

WASHINGTON -- When the count got to three balls and one strike, D-backs right-hander Will Harris figured he would throw a breaking ball to Adam LaRoche.

After all, it was a fastball count and the Nationals slugger certainly would not be looking for an offspeed pitch.

LaRoche, though, hit that Harris pitch off the facing of the upper deck in right as the Nationals walked off with a 5-4 win in 11 innings over the D-backs on Monday night at Nationals Park.

"I guess maybe in the back of his head, he thought he might be getting an offspeed pitch, that I'd be pitching around him with a righty on deck," Harris said. "I made the pitch I wanted to make and he hit it out. There's nothing else really to do about it. When you pitch a guy not to beat you, you're going to throw offspeed pitches in fastball counts. That's kind of what I did. And he got me."

Harris, who was called up from Triple-A Reno earlier in the day, retired the first two batters of the inning before LaRoche ended what had been a back-and-forth game.

It was the seventh straight win for the Nationals and their third in a row in walk-off fashion.

For LaRoche it was the first walk-off homer of his 11-year career.

"Honestly, the last thing I'm looking for right there is a 3-1 curveball," LaRoche said. "I just happened to see it really good."

The D-backs had a golden opportunity to take the lead in their half of the 11th, when they loaded the bases with nobody out against Craig Stammen.

The veteran, though, was able to fan rookie Jake Lamb and second-year player Didi Gregorius before getting Cliff Pennington to ground out and leave the bases loaded.

"We had the bases loaded the last inning, and we had some young guys up there and we didn't get it done," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said. "They had a veteran guy in LaRoche, he's a good breaking-ball hitter, got one that hung a little bit and he hit it out. It was a good game, back and forth, but it's always disappointing when you lose a game like that."

With the playoffs out of reach, the D-backs' focus has been on developing their young players, so they can only hope that instances like the 11th inning prove to be learning experiences.

"They're younger and that's kind of an excitable moment," Gibson said. "They'll get better the more times they go through it, and that's one of the deals we've got to go through right now. But overall, I think we played our hearts out and played a good game."

Left-hander Vidal Nuno gave the D-backs seven quality innings as he and Nats starter Jordan Zimmermann matched zeros for the first four innings before the D-backs were finally able to break through.

Zimmermann issued a walk to Mark Trumbo, who would eventually come around to score on a sacrifice fly by Jordan Pacheco to give the D-backs a 1-0 lead.

It looked like Nuno might make that stand up, but he was hurt by a walk of his own in the seventh.

The left-hander started the inning by retiring LaRoche, but then walked Ian Desmond. After striking out Bryce Harper, Nuno was one strike away from getting out of the inning, but Wilson Ramos instead hit a 1-2 hanging breaking ball over the wall in center for a 2-1 Nats lead.

Just as quickly as the lead disappeared, though, the D-backs were able to reclaim it.

Lamb led off the eighth by drawing a walk from Zimmermann, and Gregorius followed with an eight-pitch at-bat that resulted in a home run to right that gave Arizona a 3-2 lead.

That's when it became clear that this was going to be a back-and-forth night.

It was the Nats' turn in the eighth, as they scored a pair of runs off setup man Brad Ziegler to go up 4-3.

With closer Rafael Soriano having worked a lot lately, the Nats brought in Tyler Clippard to try and finish things off in the ninth.

After getting the first hitter of the inning, David Peralta, quickly down 0-2, Clippard hung a breaking ball and Peralta homered to tie the game at 4.


Collmenter assures Gibson he's healthy

Collmenter assures Gibson he's healthy play video for Collmenter assures Gibson he's healthy

WASHINGTON -- D-backs manager Kirk Gibson met with Josh Collmenter on Monday, and the right-hander will remain in the rotation while the team keeps an eye on his workload.

Collmenter struggled Sunday afternoon in Miami, with his velocity down early in the game, leading to questions about whether he is being asked to make too big of an innings jump from last season to this season.

Collmenter threw 92 innings out of the bullpen in 2013 and is already at 129 1/3 this season after being thrust into the rotation in April.

"I talked to Colly today and he just felt sluggish," Gibson said. "It was one of those days. It happens from time to time. If it's something that continues to go on, then you have to dig deeper into it."

The main thing Gibson wanted to ascertain was whether Collmenter was feeling any physical discomfort.

"He assures me he feels fine," Gibson said. "His shoulder isn't sore, his elbow is not sore. It's something he has to be honest with us about. At this point, he says he's fine."

Collmenter is scheduled to start Friday against the Padres at Chase Field.


Trumbo not being moved off first base

Trumbo not being moved off first base play video for Trumbo not being moved off first base

WASHINGTON -- Mark Trumbo got the starting nod in left field Monday night, but manager Kirk Gibson said it was not because of Trumbo's struggles at first base over the weekend.

Trumbo had some trouble catching pickoff throws at first base against the Marlins on Saturday and Sunday.

"I wanted to get Jordan Pacheco in the lineup," Gibson said. "I thought the best spot to put him at would be first base, move Mark out there in left field."

Trumbo began the season in left field, but moved to first base after Paul Goldschmidt was lost for the season due to a fractured left hand. Prior to this year, the majority of Trumbo's playing time had come at first base.

Bench coach Alan Trammell talked with Trumbo a little about some adjustments with his positioning and footwork that might help.

"He's a tall guy," Gibson said. "Maybe he's standing up a little more than normal. The other thing is, his glove, his target, is high. Maybe we'll move it down a little bit, spot it down. Any place you're at on defense, you can get a bad hop or get a low throw or high throw. You try to put yourself in the best position you can to be able to react and catch it."

{"event":["prospect" ] }

D-backs prospect Blair keeps firing blanks

D-backs prospect Blair keeps firing blanks play video for D-backs prospect Blair keeps firing blanks

Right-hander Aaron Blair, the D-backs' No. 4 prospect, struck out seven batters in six scoreless innings Monday as Double-A Mobile defeated Mississippi, 4-2.

Blair, ranked No. 83 on MLBPipeline.com's Top 100 Prospects list, threw 78 pitches, scattering four hits and one walk. He threw six scoreless innings for the second consecutive start and extended his shutout streak to 14 innings.

Blair has had a sensational first full professional season after the D-backs selected him with the 36th overall pick of the 2013 First-Year Player Draft. He began the year with Class A South Bend and earned two promotions to reach Mobile last month.

In 25 starts across all three levels, he is 9-5 with a 3.70 ERA. He has struck out 160 batters and walked 44 in 143 1/3 innings. He ranks second in the Minor Leagues in strikeouts, trailing Class A Advanced Dunedin right-hander Taylor Cole by two.

Third baseman Brandon Drury, the D-backs' No. 6 prospect, went 2-for-4 in the victory, extending his hitting streak to seven games. He is hitting .362/.406/.638 in 16 games since he was promoted from Class A Advanced Visalia at the beginning of August.

-- Teddy Cahill

{"event":["prospect" ] }

D-backs bring back righty reliever Harris

D-backs bring back righty reliever Harris

WASHINGTON -- Will Harris is back again.

The D-backs recalled the right-hander from Triple-A Reno on Monday and optioned Bradin Hagens to Reno.

Hagens was called up last Thursday with the D-backs' bullpen running on fumes following a doubleheader in Cleveland. The right-hander made a pair of appearances and allowed one run in 2 2/3 innings.

This will be Harris' third stint in the big leagues this year. He was on the Opening Day roster and was up for a week in June. After posting a 2.91 ERA for the D-backs in 2013, Harris has a 9.24 ERA in 12 games with Arizona.

With Reno this year, Harris was 3-2 with a 0.99 ERA.


After Collmenter falters early, 'pen digs deeper hole

Right-hander gives up five runs; Marlins get to Delgado for five more

After Collmenter falters early, 'pen digs deeper hole play video for After Collmenter falters early, 'pen digs deeper hole

MIAMI -- Josh Collmenter's last start was wiped out by rain as if it never existed.

The D-backs right-hander probably wishes he could have washed away Sunday's first inning, as well.

The Marlins scored four runs off Collmenter in the opening frame as they beat the D-backs, 10-3, to take three out of four in the series at Marlins Park.

"He didn't seem to have his good stuff today at all," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said. "He struggled, his velocity was way down. He really didn't have it today."

Collmenter (8-7) started against the Tribe on Tuesday night in Cleveland, and after three innings, that game was postponed due to rain. Since it had not gone at least five innings, it was restarted the next day.

There would be no do-over Sunday.

"I felt fine, just everything was a little flat and the pitches didn't do what they were supposed to do, and I think that's why they hit them out of the park," Collmenter said.

The Marlins got a double from Christian Yelich to start things off for them and Jeff Baker followed with a walk.

Giancarlo Stanton quickly cleared the bases with a home run to left -- his 32nd of the year -- to give Miami a 3-0 lead. It was the first homer the D-backs had allowed to Stanton this year.

One out later, Garrett Jones homered to right to push the Marlins' advantage to 4-0.

Collmenter threw 92 innings out of the bullpen last year and is already at 129 1/3 this year after being thrust into the rotation in April.

Considering Collmenter's velocity was also down in the first inning, the question is whether the added workload this year might be too much.

"There's a lot of reasons why guys' velocities vary from start to start," pitching coach Mike Harkey said. "He's working on 130 innings. He hasn't done that in a couple of years. We're going to have to reevaluate if it's something going forward that we need to be concerned about. We'll figure it out. He says he feels good."

Collmenter did not blame the workload for his performance, but he also did not rule out the role it could play in his velocity being down.

"I haven't thrown this many innings in over a year, so it could be," Collmenter said. "But I try to do everything to be ready to throw a lot of innings, whether it's out of the 'pen or as a starter. It could have something to do with it -- I'm not so sure."

Gibson said the team will have discussions about whether to make any changes with Collmenter, but that skipping one of his starts or moving him out of the rotation are not options at this point.

"He just didn't seem to be himself today," Gibson said. "He said he was just a little sluggish and didn't throw the ball like he can. We'll have more conversations, and maybe we'll adjust his routine in between and freshen him up."

Said Harkey: "We're going to evaluate it soon. We don't know if it's fatigue or just a bad day. There's been a couple of outings where he's struggled early in a game and ended up giving us six or seven innings. He just didn't have it today. We're don't want to hurt anybody. But if he says he feels good, you're usually not going to make a determination on one start. We'll have to look at a few of them and see what happens."

After the Marlins pushed the lead to 5-0, the D-backs' offense finally broke through against right-hander Tom Koehler in the sixth. Mark Trumbo drove home a run with a double to center and Jake Lamb capped the inning with an RBI single to pull the D-backs to 5-2.

The Arizona bullpen, however, was not able to keep things close, as the Marlins battered Randall Delgado for five runs in the seventh.

"Got within 5-2, and then Randall came in and the wheels came off," Gibson said. "He's been throwing the ball good for us, but we let that inning get away and didn't play particularly well again today. You get five runs, we chip away, we got two and you're at least in the picture, but you've got to hold them and we didn't do that."


As pitchers learn Peralta, rookie learning to adjust

As pitchers learn Peralta, rookie learning to adjust play video for As pitchers learn Peralta, rookie learning to adjust

MIAMI -- In the back-and-forth game between hitters and pitchers, it's David Peralta's move.

The D-backs' rookie outfielder who got off to a hot start after being called up at the beginning of June, entered Sunday's action in a 2-for-27 slump, as opposing pitchers have made adjustments in the way they've worked him.

"They are making better pitches," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said. "They're pounding him inside, throwing a lot of offspeed pitches."

The onus now is on Peralta to adapt and to be a little less aggressive at the plate if he's getting more offspeed pitches.

"You have to make adjustments," Peralta said. "They're making adjustments to me, so I just need to be a little more patient, which I'm trying to do now and adjust myself."

One of the things that has helped Peralta during the slump is the fact that Gibson continues to put him in the lineup on a daily basis. With Gibson showing confidence in him, it's easier for Peralta to have confidence in himself.

"It's going to happen, because everyone goes through it," Peralta said. "You just have to keep working and keep doing your program. You just need to keep positive. For me, it's like a test to see if I can handle that. I'm just trying to be positive every day and play my game."


Communication key for Harkey with influx of rookies

Communication key for Harkey with influx of rookies play video for Communication key for Harkey with influx of rookies

MIAMI -- D-backs pitching coach Mike Harkey has had to familiarize himself with a lot of new faces this year.

Entering Sunday, the D-backs have had 11 players make their big league debuts this year, including seven pitchers.

"We've been doing a lot of coaching this year," Harkey said. "It's pretty rare to have that many rookies."

Arizona manager Kirk Gibson praised the job Harkey has done in getting so many rookies up to speed, crediting the first-year pitching coach's communication skills.

One of the keys is not overwhelming them with too many mechanical changes or information right off the bat.

Harkey takes some time to watch each pitcher in their first few outings before deciding what tweaks might need to be made. He also has a resource in bullpen coach Mel Stottlemyre Jr., who had previously been the organization's pitching coordinator, so he had seen most of these pitchers in the Minors.

"I'm very fortunate to have Mel here, because he knows almost every kid that we've brought up," Harkey said. "So I've had someone to bounce things off of. He gives me a heads-up on certain tendencies and things to look for and that helps out a lot. Then we come up with a plan to get them where we think they need to be."


Scoring change erases 'E' in D-backs-Marlins tilt

Error taken away from Arizona's Pennington gives Mathis RBI, Miley two earned runs

Scoring change erases 'E' in D-backs-Marlins tilt play video for Scoring change erases 'E' in D-backs-Marlins tilt

MIAMI -- After further review, the decisive run scored in the Marlins' 2-1 victory over the D-backs on Saturday night is now earned.

Official scorer Ron Jernick took another look at the play and submitted the change to MLB. So an error that was initially charged to D-backs shortstop Cliff Pennington has been removed. And Jeff Mathis was credited with an RBI.

The D-backs played sloppy defense all night. But instead of five errors, they officially have four now.

The play in question came in the seventh inning. With the score tied at 1 and Marcell Ozuna on third base, Arizona moved its infield in. Mathis tapped to short, and Pennington threw wide to catcher Miguel Montero. Initially, it was scored a fielder's choice and an error to the shortstop.

Jernick gave the play a closer look, and he felt Pennington's angle to the plate was partially obstructed by where pitcher Wade Miley was standing.

So rather than give the shortstop a tough error, the revised ruling was a fielder's choice RBI to Mathis.

Instead of allowing two runs, with one unearned, for Miley, both runs in his outing are now earned.


Skipping BP, pregame drills suits D-backs

Skipping BP, pregame drills suits D-backs

MIAMI -- D-backs senior director of team travel Roger Riley stood in the visitor's clubhouse at Marlins Park following Friday night's victory over the Marlins and shouted, "Show and go again tomorrow!"

In the dog days of August and in the midst of a 10-game road trip that has already included a rainout and a doubleheader, having back-to-back show and go days is welcomed by players.

Show and go simply means that players are asked to report to the ballpark later than usual and there is no batting practice or infield drills. They just show up and go play.

"You should have been in here to hear the reaction when Roger yelled it was show and go," second baseman Aaron Hill said. "We obviously can't do it every day, but long road trip, and it's funny how much grown men get excited about little things."

In August 2011, manager Kirk Gibson called for a show and go with the team on the road and in the midst of a six-game losing streak. The D-backs won that night and ended up going five straight days without batting practice during what was a nine-game winning streak.

"You can tend to get dragging a little bit, and to do something cool like show and go, it kind of just instantly gives guys a little pep in their step," veteran infielder Cliff Pennington said. "It just gives you a little burst of energy. At this point in time, missing a day or two of [batting practice] isn't going to change how we hit. So it's the perfect time to try and do it."

{"content":["replay" ] }

Replay confirms no violation on play at plate in Miami

Marlins catcher Mathis gives clear lane, tags Inciarte for key out in D-backs loss

Replay confirms no violation on play at plate in Miami play video for Replay confirms no violation on play at plate in Miami

MIAMI -- D-backs manager Kirk Gibson asked for and was granted a crew-chief review of a possible violation of Rule 7.13 in the first inning of Arizona's 2-1 loss to the Marlins on Saturday night.

Rule 7.13 governs whether or not a catcher has illegally blocked home plate.

With runners on first and second, D-backs outfielder David Peralta singled to center and Ender Inciarte attempted to score from second on the play. Marlins center fielder Marcell Ozuna made a nice throw home, and Inciarte was tagged out by Marlins catcher Jeff Mathis. Gibson came out to ask home-plate umpire Jordan Baker if he would review the play to see if Mathis was blocking the plate.

Gibson couldn't tell from his angle in the dugout whether Mathis gave Inciarte a lane to slide, but he didn't hesitate to talk to Baker.

"I knew I was going to go out and ask, because you never know," Gibson said. "We had one and it went the other way on us before, so you go out and ask."

After a one-minute, 27-second review, the ruling on the field was confirmed and there was no violation of Rule 7.13.

"Honestly, I didn't think there was going to be anything to come out of that one," Mathis said, confident he gave a lane. "I was in front of the plate. That's the first time, while the throw was in the air, I really looked to see where I was at.

"I knew I was in front of the plate. I knew it was going to take me across the baseline. That's when I backed up, to get myself a better hop. Ozuna made a great throw."

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

Five errors catch up to D-backs in loss to Marlins

Miscues in seventh allow go-ahead run; Arizona held to early sac fly

Five errors catch up to D-backs in loss to Marlins play video for Five errors catch up to D-backs in loss to Marlins

MIAMI -- An ugly night on defense proved costly for the D-backs on Saturday.

Arizona committed five errors, one shy of a team record, in falling to the Marlins, 2-1, at Marlins Park.

"We didn't play very good tonight," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said.

Yet, despite the poor defense, the D-backs were in the game right to the end, thanks to the pitching of Wade Miley, who certainly deserved a better fate.

Miley (7-9) allowed just four hits over seven innings while striking out nine.

"From the first pitch of the game, it seemed like he had really good stuff," shortstop Cliff Pennington said. "He battled through. We didn't pick him up definitely the way we should have, and he still gave us a chance to win the game. He threw a great game."

The story of the game, though, would come in the field and not on the mound, as Jake Lamb, Miley, Ender Inciarte, Mark Trumbo and Pennington each committed miscues.

The errors by Trumbo and Pennington proved to be the costliest, with both coming during the seventh inning when the Marlins scored what proved to be the game-winning run.

Marcell Ozuna led off the inning with a single to center, and when Miley attempted to pick him off first, Trumbo was unable to glove the throw, allowing Ozuna to advance to second.

"I was anticipating that he was [throwing] over, which is the frustrating part," Trumbo said. "But I went and watched right now and I got handcuffed. I expected the ball to be in a spot and it ended up somewhere else. Ultimately, it ended up behind me. I've got to make that play."

A groundout moved Ozuna to third, and with the game tied at 1, the D-backs played the infield in.

Miley got Jeff Mathis to hit a grounder to Pennington, who threw home to try to get Ozuna. The shortstop's throw was offline, however, and got past catcher Miguel Montero.

"No, I don't think so," Pennington said when asked if he rushed the throw. "Unfortunately it was a big play for us. Wade threw a heck of a game, and I need to pick him up right there."

Miley's error, which came in the second inning, was a pickoff attempt that got by Trumbo. It was one of three errors during the inning, though the Marlins were not able to capitalize and push across a run.

While he's made most of his big league starts at first, Trumbo has only recently moved from left field to the position after Paul Goldschmidt suffered a season-ending injury.

Miley took the blame for the throws, saying they had too much movement to them, but Trumbo was not having any of that.

"I'll take both of them," the first baseman said. "I've got to be able to catch those balls. I can't remember the last time I've had two misses like that in the same game. I think I need to get out there early with him and see the way he throws a little more, get a few more looks at it so I can make an adjustment. I just made the adjustment too late."

The D-backs opened the game with three straight singles, with Inciarte getting thrown out at the plate in the process, but Arizona did manage a run in the frame thanks to a sacrifice fly by Trumbo.

Henderson Alvarez (9-5) settled in after that and allowed only two more hits before departing after seven innings.

"He threw some pitches early but really settled in and made them be aggressive and limited his pitches, which allowed him to get through the seventh inning, and that's exactly what we needed," Marlins manager Mike Redmond said.

The Marlins tied the game in the fourth when Giancarlo Stanton beat out an infield tapper to third and scored one out later on a triple to right-center by Jeff Baker.

That was the only earned run that Miley would allow, but he refused to pin the loss on his defense.

"That's when you've got to focus more," Miley said. "Those guys are going to bail you out way more than I'm going to bail them out. We're all human and make mistakes. It's my job to pick them up. That's really what you try to do."

{"content":["top_pitching_performances" ] }

Cahill, D-backs escape jams as homers hold up

Pennington, Hill dingers in first enough as club turns four double plays

Cahill, D-backs escape jams as homers hold up play video for Cahill, D-backs escape jams as homers hold up

MIAMI -- It looked like Friday's D-backs-Marlins game was going to be an offensive show with a combined five runs in the first inning.

And then ... well, nothing.

Neither team pushed across a run the rest of the way as the D-backs hung on for a 3-2 win at Marlins Park.

"You never know," Marlins manager Mike Redmond said. "That's the beauty of the big leagues, right? Both teams come up swinging the bats and then get zeroes the rest of the way."

Trevor Cahill (3-8) won his second consecutive start and put together his fourth straight quality start as he lasted 6 2/3 innings, inducing three of the four Marlins double plays in the game.

"Both pitchers just shut it down," D-backs second baseman Aaron Hill said. "It's funny how it works that way, but both guys did a great job of shutting the offense down. Trevor settled down and did a great job and gave us what we needed for our bullpen to get a little rest. So it's a fun win."

It didn't look like either starter was going to be long for this game in the first.

Cliff Pennington got the scoring started for the D-backs with a homer off Brad Hand (2-5) that hit the left-field foul pole.

The D-backs then caught a break when the Marlins decided to let a tapper by Mark Trumbo roll down the third-base line, hoping it would go foul. Instead, it stopped a few feet from the bag in fair territory and Trumbo had himself an infield single.

Aaron Hill then made that hit sting just a little more when he followed with a two-run homer to give the D-backs a 3-0 lead.

"He gave up the big three-spot there in the first, which we've talked about that's one of those things he needs to work on," Redmond said. "He needs to eliminate the big inning and he wasn't able to do that. But he settled in and gave us seven innings, so I was very pleased with that. He was effectively wild; I think that would be a good way to describe this outing. But at the end of the day, I thought he gave us what we needed -- enough to give ourselves a chance to win that ballgame."

The home run by Hill, his 10th of the year, came on the first pitch.

"This guy's got a lot of movement for a lefty -- good velo and a lot of movement," Hill said of Hand. "Going up there just looking for something up. I typically don't swing at the first pitch, but it worked out."

It didn't take long, though, before Cahill found himself in trouble of his own.

The Marlins opened their half of the first with three straight singles, the last a run-scoring hit by Giancarlo Stanton.

One out later, Garrett Jones drove home a run with a single to left to cut the Arizona lead to 3-2.

"In the first inning, I thought I was making decent pitches, but some groundballs were finding holes," Cahill said. "[Catcher Tuffy Gosewisch] did a good job mixing enough offspeed and whatnot to keep them off balance just enough, and I was able to get out of some jams. Fastball command wasn't there as much as it was the last couple [starts]."

While both teams had their scoring opportunities the rest of the game, they were not be able to cash them in.

The Marlins failed to capitalize on some wildness by Cahill when he issued back-to-back one-out walks in the third.

Casey McGehee followed the walks by hitting into a 5-4-3 double play.

"He's an All-Star-caliber hitter, so he's not trying to walk," Cahill said. "He saw a pitch and he hit it real good. He squared it up, so if you're his manager, you can't really fault him. It's just one of those things where I caught a couple of breaks and was able to get through it."

Then in the seventh, Cahill got the first two outs before he allowed a single and hit a batter. The D-backs then went to the bullpen and brought in rookie Matt Stites, who after walking Christian Yelich to load the bases, got Donovan Solano to ground into a forceout to end the threat.

"Stites did a great job in a big situation getting out of it," Cahill said.

Addison Reed pitched a perfect ninth to earn his 29th save.

{"event":["prospect" ] }

Lamb gets rest, chance to process first week in bigs

Lamb gets rest, chance to process first week in bigs play video for Lamb gets rest, chance to process first week in bigs

MIAMI -- D-backs third baseman Jake Lamb was out of the starting lineup Friday as manager Kirk Gibson wants to give the rookie a chance to process his first seven games in the big leagues.

"He's getting to where he's played enough games and he's starting to understand that he has things that he's thinking about that he wasn't thinking about before he got here," Gibson said. "I think it's important for him to have him be able to have a break, sit on the bench, talk about some things and see things from a different perspective."

Gibson believes that the best way to bring a young player along is to give him a series of starts and then a day off to take it all in, rather than just run him out there day in and day out.

Lamb, ranked No. 5 among D-backs prospects according to MLB.com, was 1-for-10 to open his career and then had four hits in his next 15 at-bats while working with hitting coach Turner Ward.

"He's played pretty good for us," Gibson said. "He's been real good defensively. Offensively, they kind of are exploiting different areas of his swing. I know he's had conversations with Turner about making some adjustments. That's part of what you do. Jake's got to learn that, and that's why he's here. He's a smart kid. I watched him make adjustments in Spring Training. He'll make adjustments. He already has started here."

{"event":["prospect" ] }

D-backs' bullpen can't squish Fish threats late

Ziegler, newcomer Hagens allow runs, including walk-off double in 10th

D-backs' bullpen can't squish Fish threats late play video for D-backs' bullpen can't squish Fish threats late

MIAMI -- The D-backs certainly did not ease Bradin Hagens into his big league debut.

Called up from the Minor Leagues late Wednesday night, Hagens was thrust into action in the ninth inning of a tie game with the Marlins on Thursday.

While Hagens got through the ninth, Marcell Ozuna's double in the 10th scored Garrett Jones and allowed the Marlins to walk off with a 5-4 win at Marlins Park.

"It's tough to put a pitcher in that spot right there," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson acknowledged.

Said Ozuna, "It was 3-0, then he threw me one strike. Then I heard some of my teammates say, take another one. Then it was 3-2. The catcher went to talk to him. I told them, 'Give me the [pine tar] stick. I put the stick on the bat, and I focused on putting the ball in play, to the middle. I got a line drive."

With the D-backs having played a doubleheader that included extra innings in the nightcap Wednesday night, the bullpen was on fumes and there was little choice.

Jones drew a four-pitch walk to lead off the 10th and Jeff Mathis followed with a single to right to put runners at first and second for Ozuna.

"I just struggled with command," Hagens said. "Kind of trying to hit the corners too much instead of attacking down in the zone and got behind hitters and gave them pitches to hit. I need to do a better job getting back in the zone."

Hagens had the predictable and understandable nerves that come with a big league debut.

"It wasn't really the jog in," he said. "It was the turnaround and look around and get on the mound and throw the first pitch when it really started to kick in. So I had quite a bit of adrenaline in that first inning for sure."

The game began better than it ended for Arizona.

Chase Anderson continued his run of good starts, allowing three runs over six innings. It was the first time in six starts that the right-hander allowed more than two runs.

Anderson said he had a hard time taking any solace in that stretch given Thursday's loss.

"You want to do the best you can to help the team win the game," Anderson said. "That's all that matters in the end. You want to win the game. Going six innings and giving up three runs, that's a good thing to a certain extent. I should have limited the damage a little bit better and not given up a couple of extra runs that could have made it a little easier on the offense, too."

Anderson was opposed by Brad Penny, who was originally drafted by the D-backs and dealt to the Marlins in 1999. This is Penny's second stint with the Marlins, but regardless of what uniform the righty has worn during his long career, he has made a habit of beating the D-backs.

Coming into the game, Penny was 10-3 with a 1.97 ERA in 23 games against Arizona.

The D-backs, though, jumped on him early, scoring a run in the first on a two-out RBI single by Mark Trumbo.

Arizona once again did damage with two outs in the third inning, as David Peralta drove home a run with a triple to right-center and Trumbo brought in Peralta with a single to center to give the D-backs a 3-0 lead.

The Marlins pulled to within 3-2 in the bottom of the third when Donovan Solano and Giancarlo Stanton each drove in runs.

The D-backs added a run in the sixth when Trumbo drew a leadoff walk and scored when Miguel Montero followed with a double off the left-field wall.

With the D-backs up 4-2, Gibson went to setup man Brad Ziegler in the eighth, and the submariner retired the first two batters before issuing back-to-back walks.

That would prove costly, as Adeiny Hechavarria followed with an RBI single to tie the game.

"I just kind of lost the feel for my command a little bit," Ziegler said. "It seems like it's been every other game the last couple of weeks where I just kind of lose the feel. I don't know. It's frustrating. Chase deserved to win tonight. It was one of our better offensive games with all the two-out hits with all the runners in scoring position.

"It's frustrating to give it up that way, two outs and no one on base, walk the next two guys and essentially throw Bradin into a spot that makes his debut extremely tough."


Manfred to succeed Selig as next Commissioner

Manfred to succeed Selig as next Commissioner play video for Manfred to succeed Selig as next Commissioner

It's unanimous. Official Major League Baseballs will feature a new signature next year.

Rob Manfred was elected in a 30-0 vote Thursday to succeed Commissioner Bud Selig in January, becoming the 10th person to hold the industry's highest office.

Five hours after deliberations began on the final day of the quarterly Owners Meetings, it was announced that Manfred, MLB's chief operating officer, will formally take over on Jan. 25. Selig has presided over the game for 22 remarkable years.

"We've had quite an interesting day, a lengthy day," Selig said. "We had a significant number of votes, but in the end the vote was unanimous, 30-0. The process is complete."

List of Commissioners
Commissioner Years in office
Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis 1921-44
Albert Benjamin "Happy" Chandler 1945-51
Ford Christopher Frick 1951-65
General William D. Eckert 1965-68
Bowie Kent Kuhn 1969-84
Peter Victor Ueberroth 1984-88
A. Bartlett Giamatti 1988-89
Francis T. Vincent Jr. 1989-92
Allan H. "Bud" Selig 1992-Present*
Robert D. Manfred Jr. Beginning 2015
*Acting Commissioner from 1992-98

Said Manfred: "I'm tremendously honored by the confidence the owners showed in me. I have very big shoes to fill. [Selig] has been a friend and mentor for me the entire 25 years I've been in the game. There is no question that I would not be standing here today if it were not for Bud. And I hope I will perform in a way that adds to his great legacy."

Selig's tenure resulted in a sweeping transformation of the game, including an unprecedented era in labor peace, a sharp rise in revenue and attendance, a string of new ballparks, improved competitive balance, instant replay, expanded playoffs, the most comprehensive drug-testing program among the major professional sports and the creation of Major League Baseball Advanced Media.

When Manfred, 55, was promoted to COO on Sept. 28, 2013, it put him directly in line to follow Selig. Since then he has overseen all traditional functions of the Commissioner's Office, including labor relations, baseball operations, finance, administration and club governance. But a seven-man search committee, headed by Cardinals chairman Bill DeWitt Jr., eventually presented a slate of three candidates to the Executive Committee: Manfred, MLB's executive vice president of business Tim Brosnan and Red Sox chairman Tom Werner.

"We ended up with three very strong, highly qualified candidates," DeWitt said. "In the end, Rob Manfred was elected because of his dynamic leadership, his passion for the game, his ability to lead the staff in New York, which he has done, and his overall ability to deal with labor issues and really all aspects of the game. When we put together the requirements for the next Commissioner, he really checked all the boxes.

"You have to have broad-based support. And I think so many people in all aspects of the industry -- large, middle and small markets -- talked about how he was sensitive to their needs. He'll treat everyone equally. It's not about one club or one group of clubs. It's about all 30 clubs."

Brosnan dropped out shortly before the first ballot. "I care too much about the game to let it get dragged down, and I wanted the process to be as efficient as it could," he explained. "We've had a great run under Commissioner Selig, and I look forward to a continued great run under Commissioner Manfred.

"Of course I'm disappointed [about not getting the job]. I wouldn't have gone through this if I didn't think I could do it. But we're in the middle of a great run as an industry, and I look forward to that continuing."

The first several votes ended with Manfred getting 22 of 30 votes, one short of what was needed for election. After a brief recess, the owners reconvened around 5:30 p.m. ET and got to the finish line with Manfred an hour later.

Werner pledged to back Manfred.

"I think that people were receptive to my ideas, and at the end, we all voted unanimously to go forward with Rob," Werner said. "And I'll do everything possible to support him and improve the game. There were a number of votes, maybe five or six. In the end, I think Rob will make a great Commissioner. I'm going to support him and I think that some of the ideas we talked about to speed up the play of the game to capture a generation of young fans, I think we need, and to make the game more popular internationally, I think all those ideas got a warm reception. And I'll continue to work on them."

Said Manfred: "What I said to the owners when I came down after the vote was that I didn't even want to think about who was on which side of what issue at points in the process. My commitment was that I would work extremely hard day in and day out to convince all 30 of them that they made a great decision today."

The early reaction was bullish.

"Rob is a strong, strong leader and can build on the accomplishments of the previous Commissioner. He's got the experience and everyone's looking to him to solve the problems baseball faces and to grow the game," said Orioles managing general partner Peter Angelos. "He's been at it for years. He's gotten his Ph D. He knows every facet and has a great way of getting things accomplished."

Added Giants president and chief executive officer Larry Baer: "The process was kind of like making sausage, but I think that will have a shelf life of about 20 minutes and then we're off and when Rob takes over in January, nobody's going to be thinking about that. Over the years, he's engendered a lot of trust and confidence from the clubs because he's worked very closely with the clubs on a whole lot of issues.

"There's a lot of confidence that the game grew well in the period with Bud and that somebody who was at his side is well-positioned to foster further growth. Sure, there are challenges and there are issues, but I know in our case baseball has never been more popular in the Bay Area. So I think folks see Rob as someone who can take where we are now and just jump-start it into new dimensions with new ideas and fresh ideas. He's very open-minded."

MLB Players Association executive director Tony Clark was also supportive of Manfred's selection.

"On behalf of the players, I want to congratulate Rob Manfred on being named Major League Baseball's 10th Commissioner," Clark said. "As representative of the players, I look forward to working closely with Rob, the clubs' representative, as we strive to sustain the growing popularity and prosperity of our great game. Personally, I have known Rob for more than 15 years, and I'm confident that his vast experience in all aspects of the sport will serve his commissionership well."

Selig, who has praised DeWitt and the search committee throughout the process, pronounced himself happy with the result. "There were differences of opinion, but in the end we came together and did what we always do. And that's what the majority wanted. It's been a great day for baseball and I'm very pleased," he said.

"I've worked with Rob for a long time. He's had great experience. The last couple years, he's dealt with every area and I've given him many tasks, some of them not very pleasant, quite frankly. But he's done them well and there's no doubt in my mind he has the training, the temperament and the experience to be a very, very successful Commissioner."

Manfred has strong ideas about what's good for baseball, but his election also signals a desire to continue in the direction that has led MLB to the heights it currently enjoys. "I'm going to work very hard to maintain that tradition and unity as we move the game forward," he said.


Hagens takes long road to first big league callup

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MIAMI -- Bradin Hagens flew on the D-backs' charter flight to get from Cleveland to Miami, but his journey to the big leagues was far longer and not nearly as luxurious.

Hagens was called up from Triple-A Reno following Wednesday's doubleheader with the Indians. Andrew Chaffin, who started the second game of that twin bill, was optioned back to Reno.

Hagens, who had recently been promoted to Reno from Double-A Mobile, will give the D-backs an extra arm in the bullpen after the team played a doubleheader that included an 11-inning game.

"Definitely surprised," Hagens said when asked his reaction to the news of his promotion. "I wasn't sure if I was hearing right. It's starting to sink in today still that it's actually really happening."

Drafted by the D-backs in the sixth round of the 2009 First-Year Player Draft, Hagens had toiled for parts of six seasons in the Minors before getting his first shot.

"It kind of makes it all worth it," Hagens said. "All the long bus trips back to back, all the things you have to go through at the Minor League level, it makes it all worth it."

While he had to be patient for his first call to the big leagues, he did not have to wait long to make his debut. Hagens was thrown right into the fire in the ninth inning on Thursday, and he wound up being charged with the loss one inning later in a 5-4 defeat to the Marlins. The righty walked two and allowed three hits in a pair of innings, including a walk-off double in the 10th.

Hagens features a fastball, cutter, changeup and slider. In 25 games (19 starts) between Mobile and Reno, the right-hander was 8-7 with 4.12 ERA. Hagens walked 54 and fanned 62 in 115 2/3 innings.

"He's kind of a strike-thrower, he fields his position well, can handle the bat," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said. "When we're looking at who we're going to bring up, we see who's available, when they've thrown and really their ability to throw strikes and locate, because that's what we're after. Makes it much easier to defend."

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Cubs deal former first-round pick Jackson to D-backs

Chicago receives Minor League right-hander Cooper in exchange for outfielder

Cubs deal former first-round pick Jackson to D-backs play video for Cubs deal former first-round pick Jackson to D-backs

NEW YORK -- The Cubs dealt 2009 first-round Draft pick Brett Jackson to the D-backs late Thursday for Minor League right-handed pitcher Blake Cooper.

Cooper, 26, was 4-2 with a 3.57 ERA in 41 relief appearances combined for Double-A Mobile and Triple-A Reno this year. He was named to the 2014 Southern League All-Star team, posting a 1.85 ERA in 24 games with Mobile. However, Cooper had a 6.00 ERA in 17 games at Reno, giving up 16 earned runs on 25 hits and 17 walks over 24 innings. A 12th-round pick in 2010, Cooper is 16-15 with 16 saves and a 3.27 ERA in five Minor League seasons.

Jackson, who turned 26 on Aug. 2, was the 31st player taken overall in the 2009 First-Year Player Draft. Injuries slowed the outfielder, limiting him to 61 games last season at Triple-A Iowa.

In 81 games at Iowa this year, Jackson was batting .210 with eight doubles, four triples, five homers and 20 RBIs. Jackson was called up to the big leagues in August 2012, but batted .175 in 44 games. Jackson's strikeout totals were high -- in 2012, he fanned 158 times over 106 games at Iowa.

"I leave some close teammates and some close friends, but I'm excited for the next chapter," Jackson told the Des Moines Register.

According to the Arizona Republic, Jackson will be assigned to Triple-A Reno. The move opens a spot on the Cubs' 40-man roster.

"We were going to have a roster crunch coming up, and we know that," Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer said Friday. "We were trying to get ahead of that a little bit. It had been two straight years at Iowa where [Jackson] had been struggling.

"I wish him luck," Hoyer said. "Here, it would've been a situation where we would've had to take him off the roster. Arizona was able to get something done before we had to make that decision."

Hoyer said the Cubs were not sure where Cooper will report, and he could go to Double-A Tennessee because of an overload of pitchers at Iowa.

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Trumbo's best fit for now is first base

Trumbo's best fit for now is first base play video for Trumbo's best fit for now is first base

MIAMI -- Mark Trumbo might very well be back in left field for the D-backs come Opening Day 2015, but for right now, it appears he is staying put at first base.

Trumbo was moved from left to first after Paul Goldschmidt was lost for the season with a broken left hand.

First base is the position where Trumbo is the most comfortable, and where he spent the most time with the Angels during his first four years in the big leagues.

D-backs manager Kirk Gibson was asked if it would be more beneficial to play Trumbo in left right now to get him more experience at the position, given the likelihood that he will be back in that role next year.

"It's not something we've talked about," Gibson said. "Right now, we're just trying to get through this season. We have so many injuries to deal with. I'm sure we'll have conversations at the end of the year to try and figure out what really the best combination of who plays where is."

Trumbo said he was open to playing wherever he was asked.

"I guess that argument is logical," he said about getting more experience in left field. "But I think right now the best fit is for me to play first. And I'm happy doing that."

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