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Snake Bytes 6/8: A sudden explosion of runs

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The game last night went from zero to fun very quickly. And then ground on for about three more hours.

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MLB: San Diego Padres at Arizona Diamondbacks Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

Recaps

[Arizona Sports] D-backs pick up slack to beat Padres on off-night for Zack Greinke - Behind home runs by Jake Lamb and Brandon Drury, the D-backs beat the San Diego Padres for the second time in as many days, thus clinching the series victory with a 7-4 win in front of 22,079 at Chase Field. It was the D-backs’ season-best eighth straight home win. Greinke earned his sixth win in his last seven starts, but it was a struggle. The Padres scored once in each of the first, third and fifth innings, including a solo home run by Yangervis Solarte just two batters into the game. The first three runs were charged to Greinke, who allowed seven hits with one walk and eight strikeouts throwing 102 pitches. Only once did he have a clean inning.

[Dbacks.com] D-backs score five runs in third inning of win - In the span of five batters with two outs in the third, the D-backs struck with the quickness of the desert rattler they are named after, scoring five times and seizing control of what would turn out to be a 7-4 win. "I think we're very opportunistic," D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said of his offense. "And it's one of the traits of this team that I enjoy seeing is that when they smell a little blood and they get an opening and they pound through that. Obviously, we can hit home runs with the best of them and that's the high side of things, but we can keep tacking on and building innings and really create moments for us to score runs."

[AP] D-backs use home runs by Lamb, Drury to beat Padres again - Greinke allowed three runs and seven hits while equaling his shortest outing of the season. He struck out eight and walked one but needed 102 pitches to get through five innings. Solarte lined an 0-2 pitch from Greinke into the Padres’ bullpen in right field to give San Diego a 1-0 lead two batters into the game. Greinke should have been out of the third inning having retired the side in order, but with two outs right fielder David Peralta misplayed a deep fly ball in front of the warning track that was scored a triple for Cordero. Solarte punched a base hit to left field to make it 2-0.

Team news

[AZ Central] Diamondbacks' new regime preparing for its first MLB draft - A new regime, of course, means different ways of operating, and the Diamondbacks have made some changes to their process. Ladnier said there has been a slight redefining of their grading scale, and he says the club is using analytics more heavily than in the past. Though Ladnier regards himself as an old-school scouting type, he says he’s fine with whatever changes the organization wants to make because he believes a better process and more information will lead to better results. “It’s an evolving game,” Ladnier said. “Am I a scout at heart? Yes, but am I smart enough to know that there are other smart people out there that have valid points to make? Yes. And what they’ve been able to do is create a very positive environment, not one where people are butting heads.”

[Arizona Sports] D-backs' Jake Lamb more prepared to avoid slump after another hot start - Lamb has already seen progress in turning around rough patches before they become more than a blip on the radar of a very long season. “I just learned a lot more about my swing and what I need to do with my swing in the offseason — just watching a lot of film on myself, which I’ve never really done before,” Lamb said. “Already this season, there’s been a couple times where I went through a little stretch, I didn’t feel comfortable. Having that relationship with my hitting coach, I can go up to him right away and he knows exactly what I’m doing or not doing. There’s always going to be a slump in a game but instead of a week, two weeks, you know, (it’s) two games.”

[dbacks.com] D-backs' Taijuan Walker throws simulated game - "Everything felt really good," Walker said. "I still threw with the tape on, so I didn't get a real feel for it, but mechanically I thought it was the best I've felt all year." Walker has thrown with tape covering the blister so as not to aggravate it any further. On Wednesday he threw between 60 and 65 pitches. D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said the team would evaluate Walker in the next 24-48 hours and then decide whether his next step will be to rejoin the rotation or if he needs to give the blister more time to heal.

[Arizona Sports] Diamondbacks RHP Taijuan Walker nearing return to rotation - Lovullo wouldn’t commit to Walker’s imminent return to the starting rotation, choosing instead to wait and see how the pitcher responds to Wednesday’s five-inning outing in extended spring training. “We have some thoughts,” Lovullo said. “We haven’t outlined those and clarified them yet... He threw the ball really well. He was attacking hitters with a fastball-curveball mix — he was throwing all of his pitches but the ones that stood out to me in particular were the fastball and curveball. He had a very good curveball. The fastball command was very good. He was able to run it in on hitters. It was a solid day for him.”

[Baseball Census] Arizona Diamondbacks: Ryan Atkinson exceeding expectations after unlikely road to affiliated ball - The short version of Atkinson’s story is fascinating: a four-year starter at the University of Cincinnati, he didn’t get drafted after college ended and so he figured his baseball career was over, taking the next year to start working as a personal trainer and nutritionist in his native Ohio. He got the urge to pitch again one full year after college, only to learn that he had just a few days to prepare for an independent league tryout after not picking up a baseball for twelve months. Yeah.

[Fox Sports Arizona] Webb and Haren reunited - Brandon Webb and Dan Haren recall their days as aces atop the D-backs' rotation.

And, elsewhere...

[Sports on Earth] The 10 most shocking things in MLB so far - 2. We all knew that the Dodgers would be good. But Colorado and Arizona aren't just off to hot starts -- they both seem to have the underlying performance to sustain legitimate playoff runs. The implosions by the Mets, the Cardinals and the Giants has thinned out the herd, to be sure, but at this point, it would actively be a surprise if the Diamondbacks and Rockies weren't in the playoffs. Considering we all spent the offseason mocking the Rockies for signing Ian Desmond and the D-backs for the whole Tony LaRussa/Dave Stewart fiasco, to see both teams looking like two of the best 10 teams in baseball is quite a shift.

[ESPN] The death of the complete game - On May 22, Zack Greinke took a 5-1 lead into the ninth inning for the Diamondbacks against the White Sox. He had thrown just 95 pitches through eight innings, was pitching with an extra day of rest and had dominated, with 11 strikeouts. He picked up his 12th strikeout to begin the ninth. With two outs, Jose Abreu doubled on Greinke’s 104th pitch, and Greinke was removed from the game. The complete game isn’t quite dead yet, but as that game shows, when a staff ace with a comfortable lead and moderate pitch count isn’t allowed to finish, the complete game is certainly on life support.

[AP] Edwin Jackson joins Orioles, set to pitch for 12th MLB team - Call it an even dozen for right-hander Edwin Jackson. Jackson will resume his lengthy major league career with Baltimore – his 12th different big league team – after the Orioles on Wednesday selected his contract from Triple-A Norfolk. The 33-year-old Jackson will earn $850,000 as a major leaguer. Jackson broke into the majors with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2003. He threw 149 pitches and walked eight batters while throwing a no-hitter for Arizona against Tampa Bay on June 25, 2010.