As bad as things looked just a few days ago, when the Diamondbacks played
what manager Bob Melvin said were the "worst three innings of baseball I've
seen at the big-league level," Arizona's four-game series with the Giants
has been turned upside down.
Since making multiple fielding, throwing and baserunning gaffes in the
series opener Monday, the Diamondbacks have responded with 26 runs in three
games, and a total of eight double plays turned in the past two. And they
might have found a new everyday player in fourth outfielder Jeff DaVanon,
who is now hitting .455 (15-for-33) after going 3-for-4 with three runs and
three RBIs in a 10-3 victory over the Giants on Wednesday.
"He's not going to the bench tomorrow," Melvin said. "What's he up to
now? I don't even want to look. He's been great."
DaVanon started in right field for Shawn Green, who now has missed four
starts in right after being used to playing an average of about 158 games a
year for the past eight years.
The Diamondbacks were hitting .222 -- worst in the National League -- as
of Sunday. But in four games, they've managed to raise their team batting
average by 41 points. They entered Thursday's series finale against the
Giants hitting .263.
"It's nice to see because we were struggling and pressing a little bit,
especially at home," Melvin said. "That's something that's been kind of
eating away at all of us for a little bit."
REPLAY: The Diamondbacks got a quality start out of ace Brandon Webb and
more than enough offense in their 10-3 victory over San Francisco on
Wednesday, but the story within the story was the hustling play of veteran
shortstop Craig Counsell, who shined with his glove and his aggressive
footwork around the bases.
Counsell confounded the Giants by successfully tagging up twice during a
game-turning fourth inning, motoring from second to third and then from
third to home on plays that probably wouldn't have worked for most
baserunners. He also was in the middle of Arizona tying a club record with
four double plays, a feat now achieved by the defense on 10 occasions,
including back-to-back nights.
Said first baseman Tony Clark of Counsell's baserunning: "Counsell's
awareness and baseball IQ is high. That's what allows him to do the things
he does, and obviously that makes a difference for all of us."
--RHP Brandon Medders was recalled from his injury rehab assignment with
Triple-A Tucson and is expected to settle in as the Diamondbacks' chief
setup man to closer Jose Valverde. Medders retired the side in order on 12
pitches in the ninth inning during Arizona's 10-3 victory over the Giants.
Medders was 0-1 with a 1.50 ERA in five rehab outings spanning six
innings, in which he allowed four hits with one walk and nine strikeouts.
Making room for Medders on the roster, the Diamondbacks optioned RHP
Casey Daigle to Tucson.
--RHP Russ Ortiz, who left Tuesday's start after 2 1/3 innings because of
a cramp in his right calf, said he felt much better Wednesday. He is
scheduled to throw a bullpen session Thursday, and he expects to be ready to
make his next start Sunday at Dodger Stadium.
--LHP Terry Mulholland (left elbow inflammation) has been playing catch
and will accompany the team on its upcoming road trip, where he could be
eligible for the final three games at San Francisco.
--After going 1-for-15 to start the year, Diamondbacks pinch hitters are
4 for their last 6 with a home run and three RBIs.
--The Diamondbacks' 26 runs in three games against the Giants is the
team's highest offensive output over a three-game span since April 25-27,
2004, when Arizona rang up 31 runs in a win over the Padres and two over the