D-backs set post-break rotation; Walker up first

D-backs set post-break rotation; Walker up first

PHOENIX -- D-backs manager Torey Lovullo has set his starting rotation for Arizona's series in Atlanta coming out of the All-Star break.

The D-backs will start Taijuan Walker, Patrick Corbin and Zack Godley, respectively, to begin the second half when they travel to face the Braves on July 14. The rotation is intended to give Zack Greinke and Robbie Ray, who are slated to throw in Tuesday's MLB All-Star Game presented by Mastercard, an extra period of rest.

"We're going to give our two All-Stars the right amount of rest," Lovullo said.

The D-backs will close out the first half of the regular season when they host the Reds for a rubber match at Chase Field on Sunday. With one of the best first halves in club history winding down, Arizona will hope to bounce out of the break with a hot start as its chases its first postseason berth since 2011.

The D-backs have been carried by one of the Majors' most consistent pitching staffs this season. Entering Sunday, they owned a 3.43 team ERA, good for second in MLB, trailing only the Dodgers. Ray, Greinke and Godley all ranked among the top 16 league-wide in Wins Above Replacement, and the D-backs had delivered 45 quality starts, good for seventh in the Majors.

Lovullo credits Greinke, offense

"The pitching has set the tone," Lovullo said. "We are exactly where we're at because of the pitching. We all know starting pitching sets the tone for the day, and I feel like we have a lot of really key pieces in place."

Marte making most of stint with D-backs

Infielder Ketel Marte got the start at shortstop for the second consecutive day Sunday. Marte was called up by the D-backs on June 28 and has provided plenty of versatility for a lineup that already was stocked with interchangeable pieces when he arrived.

A switch-hitter who is among the D-backs' fastest players, Marte can play both middle-infield positions as well as third base. That versatility allows Lovullo to mix and match lineups.

"He's a strong, athletic body that is impactful offensively," Lovullo said. "Defensively, he can play second, third and short, and that's a luxury. It will give guys some time away, and he can step in there and the team won't take a step backward."

Marte was recalled from Triple-A Reno to fill in for Nick Ahmed, who suffered a fractured hand when he was hit by a pitch on June 27. Marte was a consistent starter for the Mariners at the age of 22 in 2016 before the D-backs acquired him in a trade last November.

Marte, who has a .250 batting average in nine games, has provided several big hits in his brief stint with the D-backs, including a walk-off single against the Rockies on July 2. He also hit a 440-foot, three-run homer against the Dodgers on Thursday after coming off the bench.

Marte's walk-off single

"I was so excited just to get the win for my team," Marte said of his game-winning hit against the Rockies. "That's why I'm here, to help my team win. I'm just so glad to be here."

Jarrid Denney is a reporter for MLB.com based in Phoenix. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.