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Rested Montero returns to D-backs lineup

Rested Montero returns to D-backs lineup

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Rested Montero returns to D-backs lineup

PHOENIX -- After missing four games with back inflammation, D-backs catcher Miguel Montero returned to the lineup Saturday, batting seventh and catching Tyler Skaggs.

"I definitely was hurting, but it's good to be back," Montero said. "I feel good."

The four games off was the most time Montero had missed in a row since the middle of May last season, when he sat five games with a groin injury. The D-backs hope the time off will refresh Montero, who is hitting .224 this month after a solid June in which he batted .278.

"He should be recharged," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said. "I hope it does some good for him, he did a lot of strengthening the last couple days."

To help ensure Montero stays healthy for the remainder of the season, Gibson has said in recent days he plans to use backup catcher Wil Nieves more regularly down the stretch. Even after the four days off, Montero still entered Saturday leading the Majors in innings caught with 778.

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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