Buckner hopes to solidify No. 5 starter role

Buckner hopes to solidify No. 5 starter role

PHOENIX -- D-backs No. 5 starter Billy Buckner has made it to the big leagues before. Three times before. Now he's trying to stay.

"Consistency, that's really what keeps you in the big leagues, is being able to do it," Buckner said prior to Arizona's game Saturday against the Toronto Blue Jays. "Guys can come up here and have successful games and back them with two poor outings. That's pretty much the difference in stabilizing a Major League career."

Buckner has pitched in parts of three MLB seasons, beginning with the Kansas City Royals in 2007 and continuing in Arizona since '08. Now, he's trying to earn a more permanent spot behind Dan Haren, Edwin Jackson, Ian Kennedy and Rodrigo Lopez in the D-backs' rotation. The 26-year-old right-hander will have his second opportunity of '10, when he takes the mound opposing Shaun Marcum in Sunday's series finale, to prove he belongs.

With injured veteran Kris Benson working his way back from a right-shoulder strain and other fifth-starter candidates available at Triple-A Reno, Buckner knows how important his limited chances are. In his first start on Tuesday in Florida, he allowed two earned runs on six hits over five innings.

Buckner has never faced the Jays, but he said watching Haren and Jackson attack their potent lineup can add to his "feel" for their approach.

"We know they're going to be aggressive," Buckner said. "That's something we have to match."