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Wheeler makes second straight start

Wheeler makes second straight start

Wheeler makes second straight start
HOUSTON -- A day after starting and hitting his first Major League home run, third baseman Ryan Wheeler was again in the lineup on Sunday. He hadn't started back-to-back games since joining the club on July 20.

Manager Kirk Gibson said Wheeler earned some starts with good at-bats as a pinch-hitter.

"[Pinch-hitting] really makes you get with it," Gibson said. "It's not like you're getting a consistent three or four at-bats a game. We saw some improvement there."

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Gibson also felt Wheeler put in the work in the batting cage and in the infield before games.

With Wheeler starting, Chris Johnson was relegated to pinch-hitting duty for the second straight day. Johnson is hitless in his last 16 at-bats. He started two of the D-backs' past five games after starting in his first 13 as a D-back.

Gibson said before Saturday's game that he was trying to keep players fresh as they started a stretch of five games in four days. Justin Upton also had the day off on Sunday.

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