Clark gets first start for D-backs

Clark gets first start for D-backs

PHOENIX -- Part of the reason Tony Clark waived a $500,000 assignment bonus to come back to the Diamondbacks was because he knew he would see a lot more playing time.

With the Padres, Clark made just one start at first base all season. It just so happened to be a 22-inning, six-hour marathon that saw the 36-year-old first baseman strain his groin in the process, leaving him out for a few days.

On Sunday, Clark was starting in the field for just the second time all season, this time for the D-backs at Chase Field, giving Chad Tracy a day off after starting the past seven games at first.

"I want to make sure I can get him some at-bats and get him out in the field," D-backs manager Bob Melvin said. "He really only had one start in San Diego, and it was that 22-inning game. All his other starts were DHing.

"You got to get him comfortable out in the field. For a guy that we're going to use in the role that we will -- a day game after a night game, it's a good day to get him in there. ... He needs to get consistent at-bats, because he's going to play a little bit more in the field for us than he did with San Diego."

In the first inning, Clark, batting cleanup, grounded out, but it was a productive out as Stephen Drew scored on the play.

Another addition to the lineup was catcher Chris Snyder, who came off the 15-day disabled list after he bruised a testicle June 30 when a foul ball bounced up and hit him.

Snyder had a similar play happen during his rehab stint with Class A Visalia when a ball came up and hit him in the same region, but he felt no physical or mental relapses from the previous incident.

Snyder now wears a different protective cup -- the Nutty Buddy -- designed by former Major League pitcher Mark Littell.

Snyder walked in his first plate appearance and he threw out Nomar Garciaparra stealing in the second inning.

To make room for Snyder, backup catcher Robby Hammock was optioned to Triple-A Tucson.

"It's tough for anybody to come up and down like he does, but he's part of this thing," Melvin said. "We haven't seen the last of Robby Hammock, whether it's September in a move that we potentially have to make.

"One thing you know about Hammer is he's always prepared one day a week, a couple days a week, the game plan is always back there with him. He has a great understanding of how to call the game. Even though he's not here with us, we still feel like he's a part of this team."

Mike Ritter is an associate reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.