Owings to Replace Gonzalez in D'Back Rotation
Micah Owings (Getty Images)

Posted May 2, 2007


Manager Bob Melvin will go with rookie Micah Owings as the Arizona Diamondbacks' #5 starter, bumping the effective Edgar Gonzalez into a long relief role. ALSO: Tracy's hurt, Hudson's hot, and Johnson just passed a Hall of Famer in career starts.

INSIDE PITCH

Manager Bob Melvin has decided to move right-hander Edgar Gonzalez out of the starting rotation and replace him with rookie right-hander Micah Owings, who will be activated off the disabled list Thursday in time for his start that night against the visiting Mets.

Owings, out with a slight hamstring pull, had been Arizona's No. 5 starter, but he tweaked his right hamstring around the same time the club activated veteran lefty Randy Johnson from the DL.

Gonzalez is 1-2 with a 4.45 ERA. Owings is 1-1 with a 2.93 ERA.

"I don't think Edgar has pitched to the point where he deserves to come out of the rotation, yet someone's going to have to pitch in that spot," Melvin said. "Both these guys are capable of pitching. We feel like we have six good big-league starters for five spots, and somebody's going to pitch out of the bullpen."

Gonzalez will be used in long relief.

"He's disappointed, and I don't blame him," Melvin said. "He's going to bust his butt and do his thing the best he can in the bullpen, but it will be hard."

With a couple off days on the horizon, there's a chance the No. 5 spot could be skipped in the rotation.

"It could, potentially," Melvin said. "We'll see how that plays out. If we feel like we need to keep our guys on regular turn, then we could skip that spot."

DODGERS 2, DIAMONDBACKS 1: Olmedo Saenz hit a pinch single in the bottom of the ninth inning off reliever Brandon Lyon to lift the Dodgers and snap the Diamondbacks' six-game winning streak. It was just the fourth earned run allowed by Arizona's bullpen in the past seven games.

Orlando Hudson drove in the tying run in the eighth with a single, scoring Eric Byrnes, who tripled with two outs. Hudson's RBI helped prevent Arizona starter Livan Hernandez from taking the loss.

For as many jams as he got himself into, Hernandez could have easily gotten knocked silly by the Dodgers. But the veteran right-hander used his craftiness and deception, along with some solid defense behind him and no doubt a dose of good luck to keep the Diamondbacks in the game and exit after six innings trailing only 1-0. Hernandez faced three bases-loaded situations, but the only damage came in the second when he walked Rafael Furcal to force in a run. He allowed six hits and six walks, and was saved big-time in the second thanks to left fielder Eric Byrnes.

Byrnes saved a potential bases-clearing situation and perhaps even an inside-the-park grand slam when he ran hard and dove to snag a dying flyball hit by Juan Pierre for the third out.

NOTES, QUOTES

--3B Chad Tracy left Tuesday's game at Dodger Stadium in the third inning after suffering a sore left shoulder diving to stop a ball hit down the line during the previous inning. The injury was called lat soreness.

--UT Alberto Callaspo, who has made multiple starts in right field, shortstop and at third base, is in a 1-for-26 slump and is hitless in his last 15 at-bats. He is hitting .203 for the season.

--2B Orlando Hudson has a team-high 22 RBIs, 10 of which gave the Diamondbacks the lead. The 10 go-ahead RBIs were the most in the majors, ahead of the Yankees' Alex Rodriguez and the Astros' Carlos Lee, who each had eight. Hudson extended his streak of reaching base via a hit or a walk to 28 games on Tuesday, the fifth-longest mark of its kind in Diamondbacks history.

--LHP Randy Johnson's next start on Friday against the Giants will be the 549th of his career, tying him with Mickey Welch for 28th on the all-time list. Christy Mathewson is 27th with 551.

--Arizona's 16-11 record in April was the third-best April in the club's 10-year history, surpassed only by the 16-9 mark by the 2000 club and the 16-10 mark by the 2002 club.

--1B Conor Jackson isn't able to throw a ball effectively after suffering a lacerated right index finger and getting it stitched upon getting spiked in the hand Sunday trying to slide headfirst into home plate. He was used as a pinch hitter Tuesday and flied out to right.

BY THE NUMBERS: 17 -- Games, out of the Diamondbacks' first 26, that were decided by two runs or fewer. The Diamondbacks were 8-4 in one-run games and 3-2 in two-run games.

QUOTE TO NOTE:
"What's so special about two old guys on the field? We're both about a step away from life support." -- Left-hander Randy Johnson, 43, on a possible showdown with Giants slugger Barry Bonds, 42, during a recent game at Chase Field in Phoenix. The two never squared off; Bonds entered as a pinch hitter after Johnson left the game.

MEDICAL WATCH:

3B Chad Tracy (sore left shoulder) left the game May 1.

1B Conor Jackson (right hand laceration) left the game April 29. X-rays were negative. He appeared as a pinch hitter on May 1.

RHP Juan Cruz (triceps strain) went on the disabled list on April 21. He threw a bullpen session on April 30.

RHP Micah Owings (right hamstring pull) went on the disabled list on April 21. He made a rehab start for Class AAA Tucson on April 28, and he will be activated to start for the Diamondbacks on May 3.

OF Jeff DaVanon (left ankle, right shoulder surgery) opened the season on the disabled list. He might go on an injury-rehab assignment in early May.



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