LOS ANGELES -- A trip to the Minors appears to have paid dividends for D-backs reliever Tony Sipp.
It was not so much his 3.86 ERA that got Sipp sent to Triple-A Reno on Aug. 4, but the 18 walks in 32 2/3 innings that was the real issue.
"We told him that he needed to throw more strikes, just be more consistent with that," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said of his message to Sipp when he was demoted.
In two games since his return to the big leagues, Sipp has walked one, struck out two and had not allowed a run in two innings.
"I felt like I was taking steps toward the right direction before I got sent down," Sipp said. "I knew I always had good stuff, it was just about me being consistent and throwing strikes. It was never about me just getting hit around a whole lot it, I walked a lot of guys, so I think a lot of it was me just getting back to what I knew I could do instead of pitching around guys go right at them. Be more aggressive out there in the strike zone. The more I do that the more I can then get swings on pitches out of the strike zone later. But it starts with challenging them."
On Thursday against the Giants, Sipp fanned two in his inning of relief.
"The last time Sipp threw, I thought it was his best appearance," Gibson said. "He had very good location, using the whole plate, just really threw the ball well."
Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Inside the D-backs, and follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.