Justin Upton had been the regular right fielder before suffering a left oblique muscle injury July 9, but after the acquisition of outfielder Adam Dunn on August 11, it is likely Upton will be used in more of a platoon role, as he was down the stretch in 2007. Scherzer was told to expect a bullpen role.
"I think Justin knows this is a pennant race, and every day we will try to put the best lineup out there," general manager Josh Byrnes said. "He can help us. We love his talent. His role is less defined, obviously. The acquisition of Adam Dunn has some ripple effects. We have to read a few of our situations on a day-to-day basis -- matchups, who's hot, who's not."
Dunn is hitting .277 with nine RBIs in 15 games with the D-backs, and with 19 walks his on-base percentage is .485. Upton is hitting .242 with 11 homers. He started off well, hitting .327 with five homers through April, but is hitting .193 since. He hit .279 with three homers and 10 RBIs in 14 rehab games in Tucson.
Dunn started in right field Friday and has started every game since being acquired, but manager Bob Melvin said Dunn "may get some time at first."
That presumably would come against left-handed pitchers, with Upton playing right field and left-handed hitting first baseman Chad Tracy getting a day off.
Dunn and D-Backs infield coach Chip Hale had a short refresher chat about playing first base before the game. Dunn has played 108 games at first, none since 2006.
"He wanted to bring me out and go over some stuff," Dunn said. "I want to be ready if it ever happens."
DIAMONDBACKS 9, DODGERS 3: LHP Doug Davis gave up two runs in five innings and the D-backs broke a three-game losing streak Friday while sending their NL West rivals to their eighth straight loss. The D-backs have a 4 1/2-game lead over the Dodgers with 28 games to play. SS Stephen Drew had a single and two RBI; OF Adam Dunn had two hits and two RBI. RHP Chad Qualls, making his ninth scoreless appearance in his last 10, got Dodgers 1B James Loney to ground into a double play with runners on first and second to end the seventh inning and preserve a 4-3 lead.
--RHP Jon Rauch was unavailable for Friday's game because of stiffness in his right forearm. He had been scored upon in four of his last five outings, giving up six runs in 4 2/3 innings, and manager Bob Melvin suggested it was possible Rauch had been pitching with the injury for some time. "He's a tough guy. He likes to pitch through pain," Melvin said. Rauch was examined by team physician Dr. Michael Lee and given an MRI, but the result was unknown.
--OF Adam Dunn has not played first base since two games in 2006, but he is an option there, manager Bob Melvin said, after the activation of OF Justin Upton. Presumably, that would come against left-handed pitchers, with Upton playing right field and left-handed hitting first baseman Chad Tracy getting a day off.
--The D-backs still like RHP Max Scherzer as a future member of their starting rotation but are likely to use him out of the bullpen the rest of this season after he was recalled Friday, when he threw a scoreless eighth. "That's where he'll start," GM Josh Byrnes said. Starting pitching "is not our distinct area of need. In the long view, he made positive strides as a starter this year, and we're inclined to keep him on that track." Scherzer was 2-2 with a 2.90 ERA with the D-backs and had a 2.72 ERA in 13 games with Class AAA Tucson. "It's a great time to come back, with playoff fever going on," Scherzer said.
--The D-backs claimed LHP Wilfredo Ledezma off waivers from San Diego on Friday, and he was to join the team Saturday. He will give them a lefty in the bullpen that they have lacked since optioning LHP Doug Slaten to the minor leagues Aug. 24. Ledezma was 0-2 with a 4.47 ERA in 25 games with the Padres this season, starting six times. He has 49 strikeouts and 38 walks in 54 1/3 innings. Lefties are hitting .240 against him.
--RHP Micah Owings (shoulder) is throwing at the D-backs' training facility in Tucson, but the D-backs are prevented by major league rules from pitching him since he is the final player they owe Cincinnati in the Adam Dunn deal. A team cannot benefit from players on both sides of a deal. Owings can be sent to Cincinnati on Sept. 29, the first day waivers are not required to complete the deal.
--OF Alex Romero and RHP Leo Rosales were optioned to Triple-A Tucson on Friday when Upton and Scherzer were brought up, but both are expected to return when major league rosters expand to include all members of the 40-man roster Sept. 1.
BY THE NUMBERS: 20 -- Brandon Webb is on track to become the first National League pitcher to win 20 games since Chris Carpenter (Cardinals), Roy Oswalt (Astros) and Dontrelle Willis (Marlins) did so in 2005.
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