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Snake Bytes, 9/13: Thank the Tanque

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Yasmany Tomas powered Arizona to a win in last night's slug-fest. Shame he couldn't quite get that triple...

Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images
Recaps

[Arizona Sports] Yasmany Tomas launches grand slam, D-backs beat Rockies - The Shelby Miller experiment is still not working. Even after his stint in the minors. Making his first home appearance since being recalled from Triple-A Reno, Miller looked no different than from many of his past showings this season: Good early and then awful late. Fortunately for him and the 20,637 in attendance at Chase Field, Yasmany Tomas turned a negative evening into a positive one for the Arizona Diamondbacks

[AP] Yasmany Tomas' grand slam powers Diamondbacks past Rockies - Mitch Haniger's first major league home run also came in the Diamondbacks seventh. Randall Delgado (4-1) was credited with the win despite retiring only one of the four batters he faced in the sixth, and Daniel Hudson earned his third save. "Just trying to keep it simple and swing at good pitches," said Haniger, who struck out his first three times up. "That was a good comeback. We got off to a good lead early and then lost it, but it was a good finish. It shows a lot about the guys in this clubhouse."

[dbacks.com] Arizona hits three home runs against Rockies - D-backs starter Shelby Miller opened the game with three perfect innings, retiring all nine Rockies batters he faced. Things turned worse quickly, however, as Miller allowed three runs in the fourth and another three in the fifth before exiting prior to the sixth. He gave up nine hits, allowing six runs for the fifth time this season. The struggling right-hander is still winless at home. "The first time through, it was really impressive," Hale said. "It's tough to give up the runs, but it was good to see his arm was working well."

Team News

[AZ Central] Shipley adapting to new role out of bullpen - Shipley was told he’d debut in the fourth; but the wait to pitch was unusual. Arizona had another option in mind for the third once De La Rosa was yanked after two innings, but Shipley went to get ready and told the coaching staff he was available. "I think one of the reasons why I was piggy-backing was because I feel like they think I can handle that mentally and I can," he said. " … I knew when I was going in and kind of what the plan was – how long I was going to go. As long as I can just keep my head on straight and just focus on what I need to do when I’m out there on the mound, I’ll be fine."

[dbacks.com] Shipley to pitch in relief - "He's throwing his breaking ball, he's changed speeds on his fastball, he's used his change-up in fastball counts," manager Chip Hale said. "It's a lot of what Zack [Greinke] does. How Greinke pitches, Shipley does the same thing. It's very impressive for a young guy who has learned how to pitch basically in professional baseball, he was an infielder before it. He really pitches well and we want him to continue doing that and getting outs, that's a big key."

[Inside the 'Zona] Chris Owings is Useful Again - Chris Owings’ reemergence gives the Diamondbacks options. How they choose to use him next year is unknown, but they can sniff around the shortstop market if they choose or rest assured that they at least have a competent option to compliment Ahmed. They can trade a guy like Phil Gosselin in that case and fit Owings to the roster in the best way possible. Through hard work and growth, Owings is once again an asset in the making, even if only a small one. At this point, the D-backs should be happy with any asset they can get.

[AZ Central] Ahmed on 5-month rehab from hip microfracture - Ahmed underwent the surgery on Aug. 26. He has been wearing a contraption around his waist and right hip that limits his range of motion. That could come off later this week but he will be on crutches until late October. He has begun a five-month rehabilitation process with work on increasing his hip’s range of motion while decreasing its swelling and activating muscles that he is not using while on crutches. "It’s going to be slow in the beginning process of it, but it’ll be good in the long run," Ahmed said. "I’ll be back to full health in five months.

[missoulian] La Russa likes what he sees in Mather, loves being back in game - La Russa tried playing a neutral role as an MLB operations official in 2012 and 2013. Leaving baseball's competitive side just didn't sit well, so Tony took on the challenge of running the Diamondbacks. "The best part is you're back with an organization, you care about winning and dislike losing," he said. "When I worked for MLB I was neutral. It seems unnatural. It's a player's game. But one of the advantages is that as a manager you do have a way to tweak what's going right or wrong, make some decisions to help us. It can be pretty frustrating to sit there. You want to pick up the phone but you don't."

And, elsewhere...

[New York Post] Kelly Johnson: the man baseball loves to hire (and hire again) - Johnson, 34, has switched teams 10 times in his 11 major league seasons. If that’s your profile, then either you’re a very talented guy whom teams keep jettisoning because they don’t like having you around or you’re not an elite guy who keeps finding work because teams like having you around. Johnson clearly fits the latter profile.

[yumasun.com] New fall baseball league debuts this month in Yuma, Somerton - The Desert League of Professional Baseball, consisting of two teams from Yuma, one from Somerton and a fourth from neighboring Imperial County, begins its debut season Sept. 22. In announcing the league, Somerton's economic development coordinator, Hector Tapia, said that the city hopes the league not only will groom players but help the economy by attracting winter visitors to Somerton. "We saw it as a good opportunity," Tapia said recently. "There is a big following for baseball here and there will be players coming from many different places."

[Slate] Korean First Pitches Are Great and Strange and the Least Boring Thing in Baseball - Korean professional baseball has transformed the first pitch from a perfunctory pre-game ritual into an art form. I asked one of the world’s leading purveyors of first-pitch footage from the Korea Baseball Organization, Dan Kurtz of the website MyKBO.net, to nominate his favorites