Goldschmidt receives first breather of season

Goldschmidt receives first breather of season

PHOENIX -- He was the last one standing, but Paul Goldschmidt finally joined every other D-backs player on Sunday as manager Kirk Gibson left the first baseman out of the lineup for the first time this season. Goldschmidt had started each of the club's first 37 games of 2013.

"He's got to be a little tired, he was ready for a day off, definitely," Gibson said. "He's pretty important to our team. It's hard to do it, but at the same time you have to at some point."

After hitting four home runs in span of three games against the Dodgers in Los Angeles last week, Goldschmidt was 1-for-9 through the first three meetings of the four-game set with the Phillies at Chase Field. While the 25-year-old is hitting .385 with seven homers and 22 RBIs on the road, he's batting just .232 with two long balls and eight RBIs at home.

Entering Sunday's action, his 30-RBI total is second in the National League behind Brandon Phillips and his on-base percentage (.404) is seventh.

"I told him [Saturday] when he came in he'd get the day off," Gibson said. "You look at him and wonder how many games he can play and still be effective. Obviously I think it's quite a few. He's the guy you'd push the furthest, just because of the way he takes care of himself and the way he is."

Goldschmidt, who played in 145 games last year, struck out as a pinch-hitter in the ninth Sunday and remained in the game at first base as the D-backs fell, 4-2, in 10 innings.

In Goldschmidt's place, Eric Hinske got the nod at first base. Hinske was in the starting lineup once before as the designated hitter under American League rules at Yankee Stadium, but Sunday marked the first time he began a game in the field.

"It's hard to get starts the way he has been playing," Hinske joked. "I'm just hoping to contribute and keep it going."

In 27 at-bats entering Sunday, Hinske had six hits, a homer and four RBIs.

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