Chavez returns to D-backs' lineup for Game 1

Chavez returns to D-backs' lineup for Game 1

NEW YORK -- Arizona third baseman Eric Chavez was back in the starting lineup in Game 1 of a doubleheader vs. the Mets on Sunday for the first time since May 11, when he was the designated hitter against the White Sox.

The 36-year-old has been battling knee issues in recent days, but manager Kirk Gibson said Chavez has been fielding ground balls during early batting practice before the D-backs' past two games against the Mets this weekend.

With Chavez able to do all that, Gibson felt comfortable starting him at third base for the first time since May 7.

"We've been working on it," Gibson said. "It's been several days in between starts, and we'll see how his knee reacts to this as well."

Chavez pinch-hit in Saturday's win over the Mets, drawing a walk in the ninth inning.

Over 31 games this season, Chavez is hitting .291 with three home runs and seven RBIs.

Chris Iseman is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.