Fat city: D-backs crack four homers

Homer-happy in home opener

PHOENIX -- For a team that lacks a prototypical cleanup hitter, the D-backs sure do hit a lot of home runs.

Arizona smacked four home runs Monday night as it beat the Dodgers, 9-3, in front of a packed Chase Field in the club's home opener.

The D-backs have now won four straight and have hit a Major League-leading 16 home runs in getting off to a 5-2 start.

"All eight of them in the lineup can go deep," D-backs manager Bob Melvin said. "We do have some depth as far as our power. We talked about maybe in the middle not having a couple of guys that you rely on to knock in all the runs, but we do have quite a few that can go deep."

Indeed, seven different players have homered for the D-backs this year. Monday, Arizona got a pair of homers from Mark Reynolds along with one each by Chris Young and Orlando Hudson.

That provided more than enough run support for Dan Haren, who was making his first ever appearance in Chase Field. The right-hander, who was acquired by the D-backs as part of an eight-player deal with the A's in December, allowed three runs over six innings to earn his first win in Sedona Red.

"I had the chills when I went out there," said Haren, who was not referring to the flu he had late last week. "The crowd was just great, the new scoreboard was nice, they were playing the music loud. I mean, I really had the chills running out there. I was happy I was able to give a good performance."

Haren took the mound following festive pregame ceremonies that featured the debut of a massive new high-definition scoreboard as well as the unveiling of the team's 2007 National League West championship banner.

After that, the D-backs took the field and displayed an offensive attack that appears to be much-improved from last year's version, which finished 14th in the NL in runs scored.

"Offensively we're starting to mature a little bit," said Melvin. "We have to keep it going, but the results have been pretty good."

Young, who recently agreed to a contract extension through 2013 that will be formally announced Tuesday, got things started by working a leadoff walk from Esteban Loaiza in the first.

Young would come around to score when Eric Byrnes followed with a triple and, after Hudson drove home Byrnes with a single, Reynolds capped things with a two-run homer that landed in front of the new Fatburger restaurant beyond the left-field bleachers.

"He tried to get ahead with a two-seamer and he left it down the middle and I was able to take advantage of it," Reynolds said.

After the initial four-run outburst, the D-backs offense seemed to go into hibernation as it went the next four innings without a hit. It was a pattern shown throughout last year.

"It was a little bit stagnant there," Melvin said. "And we need to keep the intensity of the at-bats going."

While the offense slumbered, the Dodgers crept back into the game as they scored a run in the fourth and two unearned ones in the sixth to pull to within 4-3.

Just like that, though, the Arizona bats came alive as Reynolds hit a solo homer in the sixth and Young did likewise in the seventh. Hudson finished things off with a two-run homer later in the seventh.

The Reynolds homer was impressive in that the slugger took a fastball on the outer half of the plate and drilled it over the wall in right. Last season, it was a pitch that he tended to try to pull and wound up rolling over on the ground to short.

"I think it's more of me taking what the pitcher gives me," Reynolds said. "It comes with maturing as a hitter."

There seems to be a lot of that going around in the D-backs lineup.

"Everybody's got more time and more confidence and you're seeing the results," Reynolds said.

Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.