Things didn't end the way Miguel Montero would have hoped Thursday,
as he grounded into a game-ending double play in Arizona's 3-2 loss to
the host St. Louis Cardinals.
But the rookie catcher has been on top of his game during the past
several days. For the first time in his big-league career, he made three
consecutive starts behind the plate, a possible sign of things to come
as he shares the starting catching role with Chris Snyder.
Manager Bob Melvin likes the way Montero calls a game and loves his
defensive abilities, too, but lately, the offense has been just as
noticeable. Before going 0-for-3 against the Cardinals on Thursday, Montero
was hitting .357 (10-for-28) with two homers and five RBIs in his
previous eight games.
"You can see he's kind of getting some of his confidence back,"
Melvin said. "Typically, when you get to the big leagues as a catcher,
you've been the guy who has been in charge. With a veteran staff, sometimes
it's more difficult to be that guy in charge right away. But you can
see him starting to take charge a little bit more.
"Chris Snyder does a terrific job back there, too. Sometimes, if you
go 0-for-4 and call the right game, that might add up to three or four
RBIs. It's just the way the catching position is. It never really
shows up. You can't say what the recipe is behind the plate and how many
runs you save because of the game you called. Both of these guys have the
ability to do it behind the plate. Both have the ability to do it
Montero Prospect Profile
CARDINALS 3, DIAMONDBACKS 2: Miguel Montero hit into a game-ending
double play with the bases loaded in the ninth inning as the Cardinals
held on to win three of the four games in the series.
Doug Davis allowed a three-run homer to Juan Encarnacion in the
sixth, but the Diamondbacks rallied in the eighth with a two-run triple by
pinch hitter Augie Ojeda. But Montero couldn't push across any runs in
the final at-bat of the night, which ended with the Cardinals' fifth
double play of the game.
"If we execute, we win," said Diamondbacks manager Bob Melvin, whose
club is 3-8 in its past 11 games. "We had a man on third and less than
two outs twice in the last two innings and didn't get him in. We're
not playing our best right now, so we have to grind even harder our next
The Diamondbacks head to Cincinnati for a three-game series before
the All-Star break.
--SS Stephen Drew has hit three ground-rule doubles in the past two
games and is now hitting .303 over the last 10 games to raise his
batting average to .245.
"Stephen's going to be a terrific offensive player," manager Bob
Melvin said. "This year he hasn't gotten off to the start that he would
like. It seems like his at-bats are getting better and better. I've said
many times, he's hitting into hard luck and so forth and has gotten a
little frustrated by it."
--RHP Brandon Webb finished third in fan balloting for the last
player on the National League All-Star team, as the final spot went to
leading Padres RHP Chris Young.
--1B Conor Jackson ranks third in the National league in percentage
of pitches taken (64.1). The Giants' Barry Bonds (68 percent) is first,
and the Reds' Scott Hatteberg (66.2) is second.
--LHP Doug Davis, who snapped his major league-leading 0-for-51
slump at the plate last month, had his third hit of the season Thursday
with a single to lead off the sixth inning. He is now batting .107
(3-for-28) on the year.
--OF Jeff DaVanon, rehabbing a right shoulder injury with Class A
Visalia, has a five-game hitting streak and is batting .478 (11-for-23)
in seven games.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "Sometimes late in games, when I come up to pinch-hit,
I have better swings and am more selective at the plate. I don't know what the
reason is. I should have the same approach all game." -- C Miguel Montero, whose
first five home runs this season were in a pinch-hitting role.
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