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Chavez, Nieves in lineup as regulars given break

Chavez, Nieves in lineup as regulars given break


PHOENIX -- A trio of slumping mainstays were given the night off Tuesday as D-backs manager Kirk Gibson left Miguel Montero, Aaron Hill and Gerardo Parra out of the lineup against the Cubs.

Parra has tallied just two hits in his last 34 at-bats dating back to July 8, while Hill is 4-for-30 over his past eight games. Montero is batting .224 in July and is hitless in his last eight at-bats.

"I think with the struggles we've had, guys tend to grind more," Gibson said. "So we're kind of pulling them off a little bit, and hopefully they can work their way through and catch fire like other teams have done."

For Hill, Tuesday marked just the third time he hasn't been in the lineup since he came off the disabled list June 25. The second baseman hit .305 in his first 59 at-bats after being activated but hasn't been able to keep up the production.

"His swing has been off a bit of late," Gibson said. "I think he'll be fine, but just like everybody else, he expects to do it every time."

Replacing the regulars in the lineup Tuesday, Eric Chavez and Wil Nieves received their first starts since the All-Star break. Chavez injured his hip July 8 against the Dodgers and had been limited to a pinch-hitting role over the past two weeks.

"He feels healthy," Gibson said. "He's a good player, that's why we have him; he adds something to our lineup for sure."

As for Nieves, Gibson added that the veteran backup could get more playing time as the season moves along. The 35-year-old entered Tuesday hitting .357 in 70 at-bats this year while Montero has yet to put things fully together.

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

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