After what seems like forever, the D-backs return to Arizona for back-to-back slugfest series against the Brewers and Dodgers. Who'll be the last team standing? We'll find out in the coming days. In the meantime, here are reports on last night's complete-game victory for Dan Haren, and after the jump, we get to imagine a blond Rodrigo Lopez.
- [Yahoo!] Dan Haren goes distance, D-backs beat Astros 6-3 - "The action on his pitches were the best he’s got this year," Arizona manager A.J. Hinch said. "Just his pace, his tempo, everything about him on the mound tonight, he was pitching with a little edge. You can see it. Once you get Dan Haren the lead, it was fun to watch."
- [dbacks.com] Complete success: Haren goes distance - "I just had better stuff tonight. I knew early I had good stuff. I had all those strikeouts early. I knew their game plan was to be real aggressive. Once they saw I had good stuff, they came out swinging. I made some quality pitches and kept the ball down."
- [AZCentral] Diamondbacks beat Astros behind Dan Haren's complete game - "I had a good feeling about it a couple of days ago that I was going to come out feeling good. Hopefully this is a sign of things to come."
Player and Team Notes
[AZCentral] Arizona Diamondbacks' Rodrigo Lopez talks baseball
"Somehow I got involved in a fight in a game but David Segui paid my fine."
"Did you hit somebody with a pitch?
"No. I had my hair dyed blond."
- [dbacks.com] Pickoff a big lesson for Young - "When you fall asleep for a second, that's what happens," said Hinch. "We can laugh about it now and give him a hard time about it now. We won the game. I bet it doesn't happen to him again."
- [dbacks.com] Safety an issue close to Arizona's Hinch - "D-backs manager A.J. Hinch was a player with Kansas City and was in the Royals' dugout in September 2002, when first-base coach Tom Gamboa was slammed to the ground and pummeled by a bare-chested man and his teenage son."
- [AZCentral] Abreu making most of opportunities - "I'm glad we have him. Any time we call on him he puts up a good game and this was no exception. I don't know whether to commend him more for his defense or his offense. "
- [AZCentral] Rusty Ryal gets start in left field - "I trust him to be able to put up a good at-bat," A.J. Hinch said. "You have to earn that. He's done that."
- [dbacks.com] Young Upton has great potential - "I'm not going out on a limb," said D-backs batting coach Jack Howell, "but I think Upton is the guy. It's not putting a lot of pressure on him... He's a guy I think 10, 11, 12 years from now, we'll be talking about the numbers he's put up, and he's going to be a phenomenal player."
- [ESPN] Jeff Francis makes first rehab start - "Former Colorado Rockies ace Jeff Francis says he felt healthy after his first minor league rehab start after missing all of last season following shoulder surgery."
- [True Blue LA] Ethier's Last Chapter Closes The Book of Ely - "On a night John Ely was the story in his second big league start, the man who barely knew him closed out the game with a familiar ending. Andre Ethier's 11th career walk-off hit, a grand slam in the ninth, gave the Dodgers a dramatic 7-3 win in the final game of the series with the Brewers. The night before Ely's first major league start, last week in New York, Ethier didn't know who Ely was."
- [SanDiegoMetro.com] Jeff Moorad has plenty of new plays in store - "He compares the Padres’ current situation to that of the Diamondbacks when he took over the club in 2005. "They were in terrible shape both on and off the field. Their financials were awful and they were coming off a losing year – losing 111 games. But we learned some things that are now applicable to San Diego. We took that club and in three years we were the best in the league."
- [MLB.com] New book details Schilling family's struggles - "Curt and Shonda Schilling appeared to have a charmed life, but in Shonda's new book, "The Best Kind of Different," she reveals the family's struggles with Asperger's Syndrome, anorexia and depression."
- [MLB Daily Dish] Are the Mariners Milton Bradley's last team? - "One would think that the 10 million dollar he is getting paid annually would calm him down, even if it is just about the money. Instead, Bradley has arguably been more of a distraction than anywhere else in his career, creating turmoil in the Cubs clubhouse and shaking up the Mariners clubhouse early, but in a bad way. He is playing for his ninth team, and it would come as no surprise to anyone if the team releases Bradley. Simply, The baggage outweighs the potential production."
- [MLB.com] Will Ferrell pitches, entertains in Round Rock - "Round Rock fell to Nashville, 3-1, on Thursday night, but it was the debut of the team's newest reliever that had fans buzzing."
- [MLB.com] Routine fly balls become an adventure - "Nowadays, at times there seems to be no such thing as a routine fly ball. In just the first month of the season, we've seen enough flies and pop-ups boing out of pockets, clang off gloves and splat to the ground to exhaust a file of sound effects."
- [SI.com] Players like Torii Hunter, Nick Swisher speak out on pace of game - "Two years before umpire Joe West deemed the Red Sox' and Yankees' slow play to be "pathetic and embarrassing," as he did in early April, Major League Baseball had already made increasing the pace of gameplay a priority."