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News » Arizona Diamondbacks Inside Pitch 2008-06-05

Arizona Diamondbacks Inside Pitch 2008-06-05

Arizona Diamondbacks Inside Pitch 2008-06-05
The Diamondbacks made franchise history when right-hander Micah Owings batted eighth Wednesday, the first time in their 11 seasons that a starting pitcher has batted anywhere but ninth in the order.

Owings, who won the NL Silver Slugger award as a rookie last season, entered his start against Milwaukee with a .297 batting average, two doubles, a home run ?- a pinch-hit shot against Houston on April 30 -? and three RBIs. He went 0-for-2 with two strikeouts in Wednesday's 10-1 loss.

Manager Bob Melvin, who used 146 different lineups when the D-backs won the NL West last season, said it was simply a matter of making the best use of his resources against Brewers lefty Manny Parra.

With Conor Jackson (quadriceps) missing his fifth consecutive game and Chris Burke starting at first base, Melvin opted to used right-handed hitters in the Nos. 1-8 spots against Parra, whose splits show him to be much more effective against lefties. Left fielder Alex Romero, a left-handed hitter, batted ninth.

"We're struggling to an extent, and it's really more just mixing up the lineup," said Melvin, whose team had only 20 hits while getting swept in a three-game series in Milwaukee.

Milwaukee's Ned Yost hit his pitcher eighth and Jason Kendall ninth frequently the first six weeks, and St. Louis' Tony La Russa bats his pitcher eighth as a matter of course so that four position players come up in front of No. 3 hitter Albert Pujols on every at-bat he takes after the first inning.

"It is really not that for us," Melvin said. "It is just moving him up a little bit, and if there are some guys on base, maybe he is in a little better spot."

BREWERS 10, DIAMONDBACKS 1: The D-backs' slide continued with their 12th loss in 16 games, and the 11th in their last 13 road games dating to a three-game sweep to the Cubs in Wrigley Field on May 9-11. The D-backs had six hits -- all singles, three by Chris Burke -- and committed three errors, giving them seven errors in the series. Micah Owings needed 25 pitches to get his first out in the first inning, although it was a four-run fourth that did him in.

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: June 5, 2008

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