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Snake Bytes, 6/28: Home, Shutout, Home

Not quite the way we wanted to begin the home stand, after a very successful road-trip.

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Eric Thayer/Getty Images

[AZ Central] Another big inning, another Diamondbacks loss - Another good outing and another close game blew up on the Diamondbacks on Monday night, and a frustrated Chip Hale presented himself at the interview-room podium with little to offer. “It’s one of those games we didn’t do a whole lot,” he said. “There’s not a whole lot to talk about, in my opinion.” Or, perhaps, it’s that the topics have grown old, the same stories repeating themselves for a team that continues to slog through the summer.

[Arizona Sportss] Return home spells bad news for D-backs against Phillies - Twice in the first three innings, Ray worked himself out of trouble, stranding a total of three baserunners in scoring position. After back-to-back base hits to begin the ballgame, Ray retired the next three batters, including strikeouts of Tommy Joseph and Cameron Rupp. Two innings later, Ray set down the Phillies in order following Velasquez’s leadoff double, once again fanning Joseph on a 96-mph fastball and leaving the Phillies 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position.

[FOX Sports] Diamondbacks blown out by Phillies in return home from successful road trip - "Thirteen, that's a lot of strikeouts," Hale said. "Velasquez had good stuff tonight, have to give him credit. Coming off the DL like that, coming right after us." The D-backs didn't help their cause on the base paths. Two potential rallies were cut short when Jean Segura was doubled off first base on a fly ball to center fielder and Michael Bourn was caught stealing second after video review overturned an original safe call. Rickie Weeks Jr., making his second straight start in left field for his offensive prowess, misplayed two fly balls, the first of which helped lead to the Phillies' first run.

[] Blister slows Arizona pitcher Robbie Ray - Ray did not think there was anything to the fact that it was the third time through the order that tripped him up. "I think just timely hitting," he said. "I think I made good pitches in the inning. I was still getting ground balls and weak contact. I think there was only one pitch that they hit hard -- that was [Cody] Asche the double down the line -- but they just hit them where we weren't."

Team news

[SI] Big changes impacting Angels, D-Backs, Indians, Blue Jays - Through the first month of the season, opponents were hitting better than .400 against [Greinke's] four-seam fastball. To combat that issue, he started dialing back his fastball usage, and instead firing a lot more sliders: That change in pitch mix, combined with better location of his pitches, has had a cascading effect: Opponents are batting a microscopic .075 against his slider this month, as well as a tiny .148 against his changeup and an improved .275 against that less frequently used heater.

[AZ Central] Ahmed limited by tightness in hip - Ahmed’s wife, Amanda, was close to delivering the couple’s first child, and Ahmed had booked a separate flight home on Sunday afternoon in case a phone call came during the game. Once the baby arrives, the Diamondbacks are expecting to place Ahmed on the paternity list and replace him on the roster for a few days, Hale said. As for the hip, Ahmed said it stems from “wear and tear” but that it has been moving in the right direction. “It’s been a little bit better the last couple of days,” Ahmed said. “A few days is just going to be everything it needs."

[] Herrmann sidelined by cramp - After experiencing a cramp Sunday afternoon, D-backs catcher Chris Herrmann said his right hamstring was feeling better and that he was available if needed in Monday's series opener with the Phillies. D-backs manager Chip Hale said Herrmann's hamstring was "good but not great," so he was going to try and stay away from using him. Complicating matters is that not only is Herrmann the D-backs' backup catcher, he's also their only backup center fielder so they hope to be able to get him in the lineup at some point this week to give Michael Bourn a rest.

[Examiner] Showalter's influence on early Diamondbacks years remains significant - Showalter was brought on to be the first Diamondbacks' field manager 26 months before Andy Benes threw the first pitch on March 31, 1998. Though involved in scouting and player personnel decisions from the start, Showalter developed a philosophy and approach destined to bring success early. “I began talking to the Marlins and Rockies to see how they did things,” Showalter said before a recent Orioles game here where he is currently the manager. “Sure, it was most challenging to get something like this off the ground, so I wanted to know how those other teams did that.”

[] Eric Chavez Selling Arizona Home With Horse Arena - Retired MLB slugger Eric Chavez and his wife, Alex, are selling their Paradise Valley, AZ, mansion for $5.9 million. There’s the fully loaded equestrian arena with a paddock, five stalls, comfort-padded floors, hot walker, riding rink (with mirrors to check your form), grandstand, and separate barn office. Next, there’s a batting cage, small football and baseball fields, built-in trampoline, and pool with waterslide. Built in 2004, the 10,431-square-foot house with six bedrooms and 10 bathrooms was a custom build for a previous owner.

And, elsewhere

[Arizona Desert Swarm] Arizona beats Coastal Carolina 3-0 in first game of Championship Final - At least one baseball team in the state won last night. JC Cloney led the the University of Arizona to a CWS Final-opening win with a four-hit shutout of the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers, giving Arizona a 3-0 win.. The Wildcats are now one win away from a fifth National Championship.

[CBS DC] How a Nationals Fan Brought Baseball to Zambia - The Chilundu Leopards didn’t own a bat six months ago, much less know how to swing one. To that point in their young lives, they had never so much as seen a baseball growing up in Lusaka, Zambia. Once a week they find respite from poverty on a local polo field, where they etch a makeshift baseball diamond out of thin rubber bases, stretched out along the chewed up grass they share with grazing horses. Where they get sprayed by a sprinkler system set on no specific timer.

It was approaching 3am this morning in the Bronx, when the Yankees finally lost, blowing the lead after an extremely lengthy rain-delay in the top of the ninth inning. Closer Aroldis Chapman came on with the score 6-5 to New York, but walked one guy and fell 3-1 down before Joe Giradri's complaints got the umpires to pull the teams, but the Rangers manager disagreed, realizing if the game was called, he would lose. The sides waited out the 3 1/2 hour delay, only for Texas to score four times, in front of a remaining crowd of...dozens. Hahaha! Suck it, Yankees!