The Diamondbacks will be without Conor Jackson for at least 15 days after he was placed on the disabled list Monday with a strained right hamstring. He was injured when he lunged to catch a flyball off the bat of San Diego's Will Venable in the seventh inning of a 5-3 loss Sunday.
"I took a couple of funny steps and felt a really sharp grab in my hammy. That's all she wrote. I've never felt a muscle pain like this before," said Jackson, who missed the final five months last season with valley fever. "It's pretty frustrating. Pretty disappointing. I'm not going to sit here and mope on it. I'm going to get better as soon as possible."
He hopes to be healed before he is eligible to return to active duty.
Jackson had started every game but one this season and had adapted well to his new role as the leadoff hitter, batting .267 with a .353 on-base percentage. He has a seven-game hitting streak.
"He's a little unlucky, "D-backs manager A.J. Hinch said. "He made
a good play and kind of got caught in a funky position, and that led to the
injury. It's unfortunate. He was swinging the bat very well."
Second baseman Kelly Johnson hit leadoff Monday, and Gerardo Parra started in left field. Parra is the only other outfielder on the roster, although Rusty Ryal played some left field spring training and appeared there as a sub Sunday and Monday.
To fill Jackson's roster spot, Arizona recalled right-handed Esmerling Vasquez to add arm to a bullpen that made 26 appearances, blew six saves and had a 9.74 ERA on a 1-5 road trip last week.
"Until our bullpen stabilizes and we are able to feel good about our pitching, the volume of our pitching, we are going to bring an extra pitcher back," Hinch said.
CARDINALS 4, DIAMONDBACKS 2: Arizona lost its fifth consecutive game when the bullpen gave up two runs in the final two innings. The tiebreaking run scored from third base on 1B Adam LaRoche's error with one out in the eighth. The D-backs wasted a quality start by RHP Rodrigo Lopez, who gave up two runs in seven innings. 3B Mark Reynolds drove in Arizona's only runs with a two-out double in the first.
--1B Adam LaRoche had two hits and scored in his return to the starting lineup Monday, although his error let in the go-ahead run in the eighth inning of a 4-2 loss to St. Louis. LaRoche make his first start since suffering a right quadriceps injury Wednesday in Los Angeles. "I still feel it. It's not 100 percent, but I'm going to play on it until it gets better," LaRoche said.
--3B Mark Reynolds continued his hot hitting by doubling home the D-backs' only runs Monday. He has five hits and four RBI in his last two games following a 1-for-17 slump. "There is no need to push the panic button," Reynolds said after the D-backs' fifth consecutive loss. "It seems like we get good pitching and (lousy) hitting, or vice versa." Reynolds played first base in the ninth inning after Adam LaRoche was lifted for a pinch runner.
--OF/1B Conor Jackson (strained right hamstring) was placed on the disabled list Monday after an MRI showed the extent of the injury, which occurred when he lunged to catch a flyball in the seventh inning Sunday in San Diego. The D-backs believe the injury may not require the full 15 days to heal, but they did not want to play short-handed with St. Louis and Philadelphia in town for a six-game homestand. Jackson, adapting well to the leadoff role, has a seven-game hitting streak and is batting .267 with a .353 on-base percentage. "I took a couple of funny steps and felt a really sharp grab in my hammy. That's all she wrote," said Jackson, who missed the final five months last season with valley fever.
--RHP Esmerling Vasquez was recalled from Class AAA Reno to replace OF/1B Conor Jackson on the roster, giving the D-backs 13 pitchers and 12 position players. Vasquez was optioned to Reno on Saturday, when the D-backs purchased the contract of RHP Kris Benson from Reno to make the start that day, but he can return immediately to replace an injured player. Vasquez is 0-0 with a 9.00 ERA in three appearances this season, giving up a three-run homer to the Dodgers' Andre Ethier on April 13.
--OF Gerardo Parra started in left field Monday after going 2-for-8 in the three games in San Diego while 1B Adam LaRoche (quad) missed all three starts and Conor Jackson twice spelled him at first. INF/OF Rusty Ryal played the last two innings in left field Sunday after starting the game at first base, and he finished Monday's game in left, too. Ryal played some outfield in spring training but has played mostly infield in his pro career. The D-backs will add another outfielder once their bullpen gets some stability,
most likely Cole Gillespie.
--OF/1B Conor Jackson (strained right hamstring) went on the 15-day disabled list April 19. He hopes to return as soon as he's eligible.
--C Miguel Montero (torn meniscus in right knee) went on the 15-day disabled list April 11. He had surgery April 15, and he is expected to miss four to six weeks.
--1B Adam LaRoche (sore right quadriceps) didn't play April 15-17. He pinch-hit April 18, and he returned to the lineup April 19,
claiming not to be 100 percent. He did go 2-for-4, however, and will be expected
to anchor the lineup with Montero and JAckson both on the DL.
--RHP Brandon Webb (right shoulder surgery in August 2009) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to March 26.
He was moved to the 60-day DL on April 17 and will become eligible for
activation on May 25. He played catch April 12 for the first time in nearly two weeks and first time since receiving a cortisone shot March 30. It's unclear when he might be ready to return.
DIAMOND STAT: 9.74 -- Bullpen ERA on a recent 1-5 road trip, when the relievers were charged with six blown saves and endured two walk-off losses.
QUOTABLE: "(Chad) Qualls is our closer. It's been a couple of rough games for him, but Qualls is our closer." -- D-backs manager A.J. Hinch, after Qualls failed convert save opportunities in two straight games in Los Angeles.
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