Owings Tosses Complete Game for Diamondbacks
Micah Owings (Getty Images)

Posted May 25, 2007


If Edgar Gonzalez wants to oust Micah Owings from the Diamondbacks' rotation with a great performance on Friday, he'll need to somehow best Owings' eight-strikeout complete game on Thursday. Also, O-Dog finally gets a breather, Young's still not 100%, and Drew believes that he is swinging well.

Rookie right-hander Micah Owings pitched the third complete game in the majors in the month of May -- and the first of his career -- as the Diamondbacks snapped a two-game slide with a 9-1 victory Thursday over the Houston Astros at Chase Field.

"All the way around, kind of a feel-good game," manager Bob Melvin said.

It especially was for Owings, who made the 25-man roster out of spring training in a bit of a surprise and rebounded in a big way from his last start, in which he allowed seven earned runs and lasted just 2 2/3 innings in a game at Pittsburgh that the Diamondbacks eventually rallied to win.

Owings had been skipped in the rotation before that game, in part because of two off days during a one-week span, but he was right on the mark in this one despite a rough go in the first few innings against the Astros. He allowed six hits, a walk and hit a batter through three innings, but settled down and allowed only three more hits while recording eight strikeouts.

"It's definitely huge," Owings, who retired 18 of the final 20 batters he faced, said of his complete game. "For me, just knowing that I can do it, I can go through orders two or three or four times and keep trusting my stuff. I learned a lot from (starters) here that are warriors. They get through the games and have done it a long time."

DIAMONDBACKS 9, ASTROS 1:
The Diamondbacks matched their season high for runs scored Thursday, riding a welcome burst from what has been a struggling offense and also getting a complete game by rookie right-hander Micah Owings to win the first game of a four-game series against the visiting Astros.

Owings benefited from a four-run first inning by the Diamondbacks, who had six extra-base hits, including a solo home run by catcher Chris Snyder and triples by outfielder Eric Byrnes and second baseman Orlando Hudson.

The Diamondbacks had scored a total of just one run in their previous two games against Colorado.

NOTES, QUOTES

--CF Chris Young returned to the starting lineup Thursday after missing the past five games with a left groin pull, but he left the game against Houston after three innings.

"He wasn't out there using all gears," manager Bob Melvin said, adding the team couldn't hide Young in center and wanted to err on the side of caution.

--RHP Edgar Gonzalez will start Friday's game against Houston in place of LHP Randy Johnson, who is resting with tendonitis in his left forearm. Gonzalez, who has been pitching in long relief, hasn't pitched more than 1 1/3 innings since his last start on April 28.

As for a potential pitch count, manager Bob Melvin said of Gonzalez, "He's probably short of 100 pitches, depending on how economical he is. We will play it by ear and see how the game is going."

--3B Chad Tracy, sidelined with a rib cage strain, took groundballs before Thursday's game from his knees to limit his torso movement.

"At least he is out there doing some baseball stuff," manager Bob Melvin said. "It's kind of the first step."

--2B Orlando Hudson, who has started every game this season, got the final two innings of Thursday's victory over the Astros off. UT Alberto Callaspo replaced him in the top of the eighth.

--SS Stephen Drew had two hits and added three RBIs on Thursday, but is still only hitting .237.

"I can tell everybody I'm swinging well, but that's just not the outcome right now," he said. "Sooner or later, it's going to turn around. ... You have to trust yourself. If I needed to change something, we would have already changed it. It's more or less, keep doing what I am doing, and when the hits start coming it is going to be fun."



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