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Gordon awaiting his chance with D-backs

Gordon awaiting his chance with D-backs

Tom Gordon has been eagerly awaiting being put on the active roster.

That wait might come to an end on Monday, when the D-backs open a three-game series with the Cubs at Chase Field.

"[There's a] good chance he could be activated tomorrow," manager Bob Melvin said prior to Sunday's game.

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It cannot come soon enough for Gordon, who has not pitched in a Major League game since July 5 of last year, with the Phillies. The right-hander underwent surgery on his elbow last summer and has been rehabbing since. The D-backs signed him as a free agent in January.

"I'm ready to go," Gordon said. "I thought I was ready to go two outings, but it was good that I was able to throw one more."

After his last outing, an extended spring game in Tucson, Gordon said that his fastball was around 91 mph to 92 mph, which was better than it was in his outing before that, for Triple-A Reno.

In addition to the fastball, Gordon throws a cutter and two variations of a curve -- one that has more of a big 12-to-6 break and another that has a tighter break.

The 41-year-old has played in parts of 21 Major League seasons, yet he has the same passion for the game that he did when he made his big league debut, in 1988, for the Royals.

"I'm just grateful and blessed to be able to come back and play the game I love," he said. "Last year I was told that I would never pitch again, so getting this opportunity to come back and pitch again, I feel like I'm a miracle."

His return will be welcome news for a bullpen that has struggled at times.

"We could certainly use him," Melvin said last week. "He is a guy who, when he comes back, will pitch in a prominent role."

Pitching matchup
ARI: RHP Yusmeiro Petit (0-1, 6.00 ERA)
Petit has taken Brandon Webb's place in the rotation while the right-hander recovers from shoulder stiffness. In two starts, Petit has allowed five earned runs over 10 innings. Unfortunately, the bullpen has struggled both times he has pitched -- in his first outing, against the Dodgers, which resulted in an 11-2 loss, and his last time out, against the Rockies, which turned into a 9-6 Arizona loss. Petit has filled the spot-starter/long-relief role for the D-backs the past two seasons. Though he doesn't possess overpowering stuff, he has a good feel for pitching and generally has good command.

CHC: LHP Ted Lilly (2-1, 2.41 ERA)
Lilly did not get a win in his last start, but he pitched well enough to get a "W." Trouble is, he was outpitched by Johnny Cueto. In Lilly's last two starts, he has not given up an earned run in 13 2/3 innings, and he has 10 strikeouts. Against the Reds in his last start, he did not walk a batter over seven innings, giving up five hits. He used his curveball more against Cincinnati, and it did the trick. The Reds' only score off him was set up by a throwing error he made fielding a bunt.

Tidbits
This will be the D-backs' first look at the Cubs this year. They were 2-4 against the Cubs last year but had a 2-1 mark at Chase Field. Overall, Arizona is 48-34 against Chicago. ... The D-backs on Saturday traded Minor League lefty Evan MacLane to the Cardinals in exchange for future considerations. MacLane, who came to the D-backs from the Mets in the Shawn Green trade in 2006, was 0-2 with a 6.75 ERA in three games (two starts) for Reno this year. ... The D-backs have not won back-to-back games yet this year. It's the longest into a season the team has gone without doing so in franchise history. It took the inaugural 1998 team 17 games to notch back-to-back victories.

Tickets
 Buy tickets now to catch the game in person.

On the Internet
 MLB.TV
 Gameday Audio
•  Gameday
•  Official game notes

On television
• FS-A

On radio
• KTAR 620, KSUN 1400 (Español)

Up next
• Tuesday: Diamondbacks (Dan Haren, 1-3, 1.38) vs. Cubs (Carlos Zambrano, 1-1, 4.85), 6:40 p.m. MST
• Wednesday: Diamondbacks (Doug Davis, 1-3, 3.67) vs. Cubs (Ryan Dempster, 1-0, 4.88), 12:40 p.m. MST
• Thursday: Diamondbacks (Max Scherzer, 0-2, 4.91) at Brewers (Jeff Suppan, 1-2, 7.32), 5:05 p.m. MST

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

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