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D-backs' Young first to join 20/20 club

D-backs' Young first to join 20/20 club

MILWAUKEE -- With his third-inning home run on Monday, Chris Young did more than just tie the game at two runs apiece. The D-backs center fielder became the first player in the Majors this season with 20 home runs and 20 stolen bases.

Young, who ranks fifth in the National League with 22 stolen bases, reached the 20-homer, 20-stolen base mark for the second time in his career and the first time since his 2007 rookie season.

"It's nice," Young said of the feat. "You'd like to be winning more games so you get away from focusing on the personal things, but it's nice. I'm having a better season, it's a big turn around from last year for me."

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Including Tuesday's game in Milwaukee, the D-backs have 49 games remaining as Young chases his first career 30-homer, 30-stolen base season.

D-backs manager Kirk Gibson sees it as a possibility for Young, but is more concerned with Young having improved dramatically at the plate, especially as his current .268 batting average is 26 points higher than his career average.

"His approach at the plate's really good," Gibson said. "He's really beginning to understand how to get to certain pitches that they used to get him out on.

"Stolen base-wise, he's getting really advanced. He's got several techniques that he uses. I don't know if he'll get to 30-30, but I wouldn't put it out of reach for him sometime in his career."

After an impressive rookie season that saw Young belt 32 home runs and steal 27 bases, his production declined in each of the past two seasons. Young had 22 home runs with 85 RBIs and 14 stolen bases in 2008 before dropping to 15 homers and 11 steals last season with just a .212 batting average.

Young's 20th homer came a year removed from his demotion to the Minors last season, where he played from August 10-28 before returning to the big league club. Before he was sent down, Young hit just seven home runs with 28 RBIs and a sub-Mendoza line .194 average.

Over the final month of the season, Young's production picked up, as he tallied eight home runs with 14 RBIs and a .263 batting average.

"It was a reality check," Young said. "It was a sign that, 'Hey, you need to turn things around if you expect to play at this level.' I took it as a challenge. Nobody's given anything in this game, and you have to earn everything, especially at this level."

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