Hinch has fond memories of Kauffman

Hinch has fond memories of Kauffman

PHOENIX -- Manager A.J. Hinch is returning to the City of Fountains.

Seventeen years ago, Hinch took the field at Kansas City's Kauffman Stadium for a pre-Draft workout as a hotshot prospect from Oklahoma's Midwest City High School.

Starting in 2001, he played two seasons for the Royals.

On Tuesday he will lead his team for three games at Kauffman Stadium against the Royals, one of the teams he rooted for as a child, as Interleague Play resumes for the D-backs.

Hinch was also an Atlanta Braves fan as a kid, and his family used to drive to Arlington to watch the Rangers.

"I have relatives in Iowa, and I grew up in Oklahoma," Hinch said. "That was a natural meeting place. I'll know how to get to the ballpark, and I'll know where to go. I'm very comfortable in that stadium, so it will be nice to go there and play there."

Hinch was drafted in 1992 out of high school by the White Sox and again by the Twins in the third round in 1995, but he returned to Stanford. He was drafted and signed by the Athletics in 1996, and he was traded to Kansas City in 2001.

"I'm anxious to see the new improvements [to Kauffman Stadium]," Hinch said. "I enjoyed my time in Kansas City. It will be a nice time to go back."

The D-backs are 2-1 in Interleague Play this year, having taken two of three games from the A's last month.

After the series in Kansas City, the D-backs will travel to Seattle for three games against the Mariners before returning home to host the Rangers and Angels.

Doug Davis will face Gil Meche in the series opener on Tuesday. Zack Greinke will take the mound for Kansas City in the second game of the series, against Max Scherzer. Dan Haren and Luke Hochevar will square off in Thursday's series finale.

"[Greinke's] been the best pitcher in baseball, or as good as anybody," Hinch said. "I don't know anybody that has been better. I paid attention to him as much as I would other players that are having success. He's been very effective."

The Hinch clan will be well represented in Kansas City. Family members are going to meet him at the park, just like they did when he was a kid.

"It's great place to play and a great place to raise a family," he said. "We considered moving there when I was playing there. I got non-tendered, and it shot that down."

Pitching matchup
ARI: LHP Doug Davis (3-7, 3.65 ERA)
Davis is looking to rebound from his shortest outing of the season, a four-inning start against the Giants on Wednesday, and get back on track. The veteran has one win in his past eight starts and went the entire month of May without a win. In his last outing, he was charged with five runs (two earned) on six hits in the 101-pitch outing against the Giants. He is 2-2 with a 5.01 ERA in his career against the Royals, a familiar foe dating back to his American League days with Texas.

KC: RHP Gil Meche (3-5, 3.70 ERA)
Meche pitched his third straight effective game last Wednesday night at Cleveland, shutting out the Indians for seven innings on four hits. He also notched 11 strikeouts to match his career high. Although he had no decision in two of his past three games, he's given up just three earned runs in a total of 20 innings in that stretch. By moving his push-off foot closer to the first-base side of the rubber, he's improved his offspeed pitches, and his location has been much sharper. Last year he beat Arizona, 8-3, with 7 1/3 strong innings and 10 strikeouts.

Tidbits
The D-backs signed outfielder Marc Krauss, a second-round pick from Ohio University. ... Mark Reynolds is a on a roll, hitting .435 during the six-game homestand. He leads the team with 17 home runs. ... Felipe Lopez has hit safely in 11 of his last 12 games, hitting .302 during that stretch.

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
• Wednesday: D-backs (Max Scherzer, 3-4, 3.63) at Royals (Zack Greinke, 8-2, 1.72), 5:10 p.m. MST
• Thursday: D-backs (Dan Haren, 5-4, 2.20) at Royals (Luke Hochevar, 2-2, 5.60), 5:10 p.m. MST
• Friday: D-backs (Jon Garland, 4-7, 5.45) at Mariners (Jarrod Washburn, 3-5, 3.30), 7:10 p.m. MST

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