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SnakeBytes, 8/17: St. Patrick’s Day

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He certainly answered the prayers of Diamondbacks’ fans yesterday.

MLB: Arizona Diamondbacks at Houston Astros Shanna Lockwood-USA TODAY Sports

Recaps

[Arizona Sports] Patrick Corbin throws clean 8.2 innings as D-backs drop Astros - “Sometimes I’ll ask the pitchers why they deserve to go back out for that next inning. I typically ask the guys for two reasons and I wait for two reasons. But his answer was clear to me. I didn’t need any more.” What did Corbin say to convince Lovullo? “I said, ‘I’m going to get three outs.'”

[MLB] Daniel Descalso hits inside-the-park homer - It's the Year of the Inside-The-Park Homer for the D-backs. Second baseman Daniel Descalso hit an inside-the-parker off Astros right-hander Mike Fiers in the fourth inning of Thursday afternoon's 4-0 win at Minute Maid Park. It was the 14th inside-the-park home run in franchise history and the third one by the D-backs this season. The single-season record for a team is seven, done twice by the Royals, which they did in 1979 and '91 when they played their home games on artificial turf.

[AZ Central] Diamondbacks beat Astros to salvage a split - The fortuitous bounce on Descalso’s ball assured him at least a triple, and after Marisnick bobbled it on the transfer, Descalso was able to score without a play. Descalso said he wasn’t sure if he had much left in the tank after sliding home safely, but he did suggest his inside-the-parker was more graceful than teammate David Peralta’s on Saturday night. “I didn’t lay around and flop around in the box for like a minute,” Descalso said.

[Houston Chronicle] Astros blast umpires after shutout loss to Diamondbacks - "I think it was one-sided; it was tough," Fiers said. "We felt like we didn't get the pitches we should've got. And the same way at the plate. It's tough when the zone is that big for them and it shrinks for your guys." Hinch said poor umpiring has been skewed against the Astros the last week. After the Diamondbacks had defeated the Astros 2-0 on Monday, Hinch had complained that opposing starter Zack Greinke "got the benefit of a liberal strike zone."

Team news

[MLB] D-backs' Robbie Ray sharp in first rehab start - D-backs left-hander Robbie Ray took the next step toward rejoining the club, beginning a Minor League rehab assignment Thursday with Class A Advanced Visalia (Calif.). Ray has been sidelined since suffering a concussion when he was struck in the head by a 108.1-mph line drive against the Cardinals on July 28. He struck out 11 in 4 2/3 innings of two-run ball against Modesto on Thursday. He allowed four hits and two walks and exited after 80 pitches (58 strikes).

[AZ Central] De La Rosa to undergo Tommy John surgery again - Lovullo said De La Rosa began to have more issues with his elbow after he was sent back to Triple-A Reno earlier this month. “I know Rubby is extremely proud and wants to perform at an elite level and I think him doing this is going to allow him to get back to where he wants to get back to,” Lovullo said. “I know there’s a lot of risk in having your second Tommy John surgery, but this is what he felt like would be the best thing for him.”

[MLB] No Sunday starter announcement yet - One day after indicating that left-hander Anthony Banda would start Sunday against the Twins, the D-backs optioned him back to Triple-A Reno "We just felt like it was the best situation for him to go down and continue to work on a couple of things," Lovullo said. "Stuff-wise, it's close, but he needs to fine-tune some things and be able to make adjustments comfortably and not let innings get away from him. Continue to work on that mound presence and body language, and going out there with the stuff that he believes in and attacking hitters with every single pitch. He's still young and developing."

[KTAR] Chase Field dispute between D-backs, county heading to arbitration - Judge Karen Mullins ruled Thursday that the team was required to play all of its games at the ballpark through 2027, when the team’s lease expires. “The team is obligated under the [Facility Use Agreement] to play all games at the ballpark,” she wrote. “Allowing the team to pursue alternative options or partnerships does not preserve the status quo of that obligation.” Grady Gammage, one of the county’s attorneys, said the arbitration decision was good news for taxpayers. “Resolving this dispute through arbitration is better for the taxpayers rather than using expensive litigation.”

[MLB] Confident D-backs reflection of their manager | - "Now it's just trying to finish the regular season strong and give ourselves a chance in the playoffs and a chance to win the World Series," Goldschmidt said. "We were pretty confident early on in the year. I think from the outside, maybe people didn't give us as much of a chance. But inside the clubhouse, we knew we had a good team. It's definitely a challenge every day. Other teams are so good. We knew we could give ourselves a chance day in and day out, and we could make the playoffs. And then anything can happen."

And, elsewhere...

[SI] Stanton, Mike Trout Making A Run In MVP Races - But you'll like who's currently ahead... With the season entering its final quarter, the MVP races in both leagues are wide open, and injuries both past and present could have a significant impact on the outcomes. Whereas last week’s Awards Watch, written by my SI.com colleague Gabriel Baumgaertner, looked at all three major player awards in each league, this time around we'll take a deeper dive into just the MVP scrum.

[1500ESPN] Twins slugger Miguel Sano is on pace to set a new MLB strikeout record - Only 5 hitters in MLB history have struck out more than 200 times in a single season. Mark Reynolds has done it three times, and he holds the all-time record for punchouts, with 223. Miguel Sano is probably about to put his name on that list. And depending on how the rest of the season shakes out, we may be writing his name at the very top of the list.

[ESPN] 'Skunk in the outfield' -- How the most epic trick play in history broke baseball - That's how it came to be that Portsmouth sophomore named Johnny Pedrotty stood in right field in Game 2 of the Rhode Island state championship series, and a crowd of a thousand fans erupted into profane chaos, and a star infielder almost blacked out from the stress, and Ulmschneider found himself unsure of how to stop what he'd unleashed. It's how, for two minutes and 32 seconds, baseball broke.