Mark Reynolds has taken the National League by storm since his call up from Class AA Mobile, and in so much as he is at a loss for words to describe his .442 batting average and 13 RBIs after just 12 games, he does offer one possible reason for his hitting display.
It's the stuffed Spider-Man doll in his locker.
Seems he won it in one of those claw-machine games while eating on the road at a Denny's restaurant with his Mobile, Ala., teammates. That night, he put it in his locker and had a four-hit game.
"That thing's been with me every since," Reynolds said, "and it's not going to leave me now."
Reynolds isn't going anywhere, either, as he has ignited a spark in what had been a listless Diamondbacks' offense up until recently.
"There's no doubt about that. There's no coincidence (that) from the time he got here, we started scoring multiple runs," manager Bob Melvin said. "And he's been right in the middle of everything, right in the middle of the order, another big bat in the middle of the lineup that we feel can do some damage. And he has done some damage."
He's hit safely in 11 of his first 13 games and has been a factor in nearly every single game during a streak in which the Diamondbacks have kept pace with the leaders in the National League West.
"I don't know how to explain it," Melvin said of Reynolds' success. "The guy's just on a roll right now and he's playing with a lot of confidence. The more hits you get, the more confident you get. I don't really want to try to overanalyze it too much. Pat him on the back and say, 'Way to go.'"
Reynolds, who had a five-hit game on May 25 to tie a club record, doesn't have a lot of answers for his torrid start, but can see it catching on amongst his teammates.
"Hitting is definitely contagious," he said. "You see one guy out there doing it and it's like a domino effect."
DIAMONDBACKS 8, ASTROS 4: Arizona swept Houston in a four-game series culminated Sunday by a complete-game effort from Livan Hernandez and a rare offensive outburst against Roy Oswalt, who lost to the Diamondbacks for the first time in eight career starts.
The Diamondbacks collected 10 hits off Oswalt en route to a 14-hit day that sent Houston to its eighth consecutive loss. Every starter in the Arizona lineup contributed at least one hit, and six players had multi-hit games as the Diamondbacks outscored the Astros in the series, 35-12.
--2B Orlando Hudson started each of the club's first 51 games until he finally was given a day off by manager Bob Melvin on May 27 against Houston.
"He was fine about it," Melvin said. "He wants to play every game, though. He wants to be out there for his teammates. He's a very accountable guy."
--RHP Brandon Webb was struck hard on his left forearm by a line drive on May 26 against Houston. X-rays were negative, and although the arm was swollen and sore, it wasn't expected to affect him for his next start -- Friday at Shea Stadium against the Mets.
--3B Chad Tracy, sidelined with a rib-cage strain, was scheduled to take batting practice with the team on Tuesday in Philadelphia, but likely is several days from returning to the lineup.
--1B Tony Clark suffered a slight concussion while diving and hitting his face to try and catch a line-drive foul ball on May 26 against the Astros. He needed a couple of stitches to close a cut under his chin, but was expected to be available during a three-game series in Philadelphia that began Monday.
--RHP Jose Valverde tied his career high by registering his 18th save of the season May 26. The 18 saves were the most in the majors. "He's had stretches before and the one thing that remains for him is to do it consistently for the whole season. He's well on his way, obviously, to doing that," manager Bob Melvin said.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "I'd rather play the guitar than hit, for sure." --Cy Young Award winner Brandon Webb, a career .105 hitter and an avid guitar player, on possibly missing a few days of batting practice after getting hit in the left forearm by a hard line drive.
BY THE NUMBERS: 56 -- Points raised in Chris Snyder's batting average, which went from .179 to .235 during a seven-game stretch from May 19 to May 26.
1B Tony Clark (concussion, lacerated chin) was injured on May 26 and needed stitches, but it expected to return on May 28.
LHP Randy Johnson (forearm tendinitis) will miss his May 25 next start, but he expects to take his next turn in the rotation.
CF Chris Young (right groin strain) was injured May 18 and missed games from May 19-23. He returned to the starting lineup May 24 but left the game against Houston after three innings.
3B Chad Tracy (rib cage strain) went on the disabled list on May 16. He took ground balls before the May 24 game from his knees to limit his torso movement.
OF Jeff DaVanon (left ankle, right shoulder surgery) opened the season on the disabled list. He has been rehabbing in extended spring training.
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