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D-backs proud to swing pink for a cause

D-backs proud to swing pink for a cause

PHOENIX -- It would not be a good idea to try to take those pink bats away from the Arizona Diamondbacks' hitters.

If you do, you'll likely have a fight on your hands.

The D-backs, like the rest of Major League Baseball, swung pink bats on Mother's Day, and an offense that had struggled mightily suddenly came alive in a 10-8 win over the Nationals at Chase Field.

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"We were talking about that," infielder Mark Reynolds said of continuing to use the bats.

But using the pink bats is a one-day event, and the bats have become annual Mother's Day symbols as part of an overall "Going to Bat Against Breast Cancer" initiative by Major League Baseball that raises awareness about breast cancer and directs proceeds to Susan G. Komen for the Cure.

Fans play the next big role in this process, because attention will move now to the MLB.com Auction and the gradual arrival of game-used pink bats, home plates, logo bases and lineup cards.

Fans also can purchase their own personalized "Mother's Day 2009" pink bats right now for $79.99 at the MLB.com Shop, with $10 from the sale of each one going to Komen for the Cure.

"It's real good to do something with a purpose, not just for looks," Reynolds said. "We'll raise some money to hopefully help find a cure and get that disease out of here."

Five members of the starting lineup -- Felipe Lopez, Justin Upton, Reynolds, Eric Byrnes and Chris Snyder -- took their hacks with pink lumber. They went a combined 10-for-21 with four doubles, a homer and six RBIs.

Players had their own individual reasons for choosing to swing a pink bat.

"To have a way for you to be on the field yet still [recognize] your mother is pretty cool," Upton said. "Obviously, we can't miss work on Mother's Day to spend the day with her, but now we can recognize her even when we play."

Snyder took things to a whole different level. He swung several pink bats, two of which bore the names of his mother, Karen, and wife, Carla.

"Thankfully, to this point I haven't experienced breast cancer in my family," Snyder said. "So for me, today, the pink bats are to let my mom and wife know that I love them and [say] 'Happy Mother's Day.' I told them they were both going to be used, and I was hoping I could get through the day without breaking them so I could give them to them afterward."

Players who did not use pink bats, such as Chris Young, Ryan Roberts and Josh Wilson, wore pink sweat bands and necklaces to show their support of the cause.

"Everything that you see us doing, with the wristbands and the bats, it's helping good causes," Upton said. "Hands down, one of the biggest things that we're able do is as athletes is to bring attention to something and help out good causes."

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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