Collmenter Perfect in Major League Debut

The Arizona Diamondbacks may have a new candidate for their struggling starting rotation. Josh Collmenter, a bullpen replacement for the injured Aaron Heilman, showed that he can play with the big boys in his major league debut.

Right-hander Josh Collmenter could not have hoped for more. Collmenter pitched two perfect innings in his major league debut Sunday and was credited with the victory when Stephen Drew singled in Justin Upton with one out in the last of the 12th inning for a 6-5 win over San Francisco.

"The way it worked out, you couldn't dream it up any better, to get the walk-off win and celebrate with the rest of the team on the field," said Collmenter, who got recalled from Triple-A Reno on Friday when Aaron Heilman was placed on the disabled list.

Collmenter, who features a unique arm angle in which the ball appears to come from behind his head, struck out Pablo Sandoval and Nate Schierholtz and did not allow any of the other four balls out of the infield while primarily relying on his fastball/changeup mix. He got Sandoval to swing through an 88 mph fastball after showing 76 and 77 mph changeups earlier in his 11th-inning at-bat.

"His fastball looks like it's 100 because of the angle," catcher Miguel Montero exaggerated. "You can't see it. He's pretty tall, and when you finally see it, you are already beat up. Then he throws the changeup 20 miles an hour less."

"The first few warm-up pitches in the bullpen, it kind of hit me that this was happening, but after that I told myself to calm down, it's another game. I just wanted to make sure I threw strikes and worked the corners and executed the pitches I knew how," Collmenter said.  "Try to leave as little of the plate as possible with each pitch, and hopefully they'd get themselves out."

Collmenter, a 15th-round pick out of Central Michigan in the 2007 draft, led the minor leagues with 34 victories between 2008-10. He won his only 2011 start in Reno, giving up one earned run in six innings, before being recalled this season.


--C Miguel Montero remained in the game after a five-minute delay in the sixth inning, after he was struck in the groin by a foul ball off CF Aaron Rowand's bat. Still sore, he made two hustling plays thereafter, beating out a single into the hole between first and second base to set up IF Ryan Roberts' game-tying single in the eighth and bouncing out from behind the plate to field Darren Ford's bunt and throw him out at first in the 11th. "I sweated more in five minutes than what I sweat in an entire game," Montero said.

--LHP Joe Saunders induced a franchise-record-tying five double plays Saturday, getting one in each inning from the second through the sixth innings. He has induced 83 double plays since the start of the 2008 season, second in the major leagues to Chicago White Sox lefty Mark Buerhle, who has 86 after getting two Sunday. "That's what my game is all about," Saunders said. Because Saunders has pitched fewer innings, he has the best average in the majors, getting 1.32 per double plays per nine innings.

--SS/LF Willie Bloomquist, who has become the de facto starting left fielder with seven starts in the last eight games, had two singles Sunday, a day after his season-long 10-game hitting streak was broken. Bloomquist's streak to open the season tied for the longest in franchise history with Steve Finley (2000) and Danny Bautista (2002).

--IF/OF Ryan Roberts shouted at San Francisco RHP Sergio Romo and the Giants' dugout after grounding out to end the eighth inning Saturday. Roberts believed Romo was trying to quick-pitch him, then became upset when he thought he saw Romo smiling on his way back to the dugout. "I felt disrespected and I didn't like it, so I said something back," Roberts said. "I was mad, frustrated. Emotions were running high."  Romo: "He cares about baseball as much as I do. Sometimes emotions get the best of you."

DIAMOND STAT: 6 -- Consecutive hitters retired by RHP Josh Collmenter in his major league debut Sunday.

QUOTABLE: "The way it worked out, you couldn't dream it up any better, to get the walk-off win and celebrate with the rest of the team on the field." –- RHP Josh Collmenter, who got his first major league victory with two perfect innings of relief in his first major league appearance Sunday.

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