[D’backs.com] D-backs’ home runs quell worries of letdown - In the aftermath of a disappointing loss to the Dodgers on Sunday, D-backs manager Torey Lovullo huddled with his coaches. Lovullo was concerned that the loss could linger into the series opener against the Padres on Monday afternoon. He wanted the staff to deliver a consistent message to the players that they could not afford to let down. So the staff had a video put together that showed various athletes like a speedskater celebrating victory just a little too soon and getting passed at the finish line. The lesson proved to be important during the D-backs’ 14-7 victory over the Padres at Chase Field, just not in the way he might have anticipated.
[AZ Central] Pre-game video montage helps Arizona Diamondbacks’ offense in win over San Diego Padres - Ahmed said the video was enough to get the hitters laughing and establish some pre-game camaraderie. The Diamondbacks sent nine hitters to the plate in the second inning and scored six runs, thanks in part to some sloppy defense by the Padres. The Diamondbacks pushed across two more in the fifth before right-hander Mike Leake ran into trouble in the sixth inning, allowing four runs before ultimately getting pulled in the seventh. The offense responded to Leake’s misstep with a four-run sixth inning of their own off converted infielder Javy Guerra, as well as two more runs in the seventh. Josh Rojas, Ketel Marte, Eduardo Escobar and Christian Walker all homered. Rojas, a Valley native, finished with a game-high four hits. Marte drove in four runs. Ahmed reached base three times, drove in a pair and scored a run.
[Arizona Sports] D-backs back in win column after bats come alive early against Padres - “To come out and do what we did today after a tough loss [Sunday], a humbling loss [Sunday], our guys stepped up and did a really good job of making sure they were ready,” manager Torey Lovullo said after the game. “They were prepared to go out and execute a game plan. … It was one of those day games that you’re really looking for and coming out on the right side of it was really important. I’m proud of these guys for the fight they had.”
[D’backs.com] Weaver tests his arm in simulated game - Dressed in full uniform, Arizona right-hander Luke Weaver threw a 21-pitch simulated game Monday morning at Chase Field before the D-backs’ game against the Padres. “It felt great,” Weaver said. “As a competitor, I think you want to see a perfect 20-pitch dotted everywhere, and things were working good, but it was a first tester. I think the adrenaline was pumping, there was a lot of excitement, some anxiousness. But as far as the arm and the body and the way it came out, I couldn’t be happier.” Weaver, who has been out since May with a mild right flexor pronator strain and a mild right UCL sprain, could return to action soon. The D-backs’ Triple-A Reno team wrapped up its season Monday, but Double-A Jackson is in the Southern League playoffs if the team wants to give Weaver a game-action rehab appearance.
[AZ Central] Soft upcoming schedule creates opportunity for Diamondbacks - Entering Saturday, the Diamondbacks had only nine games remaining against teams with a winning record. That’s fewer than the Brewers (11) and Cubs (13), who are the only other teams with more games left against losing teams than winning teams. The rest of the competition has a much harder slate. The Giants have 16 games to go against over .500 teams, with the Mets (18), Cardinals (20) and Phillies (22) behind them. “In terms of schedule, we all realize that it’s in our favor and it sets up for us to truly make a run, not just say it,” Diamondbacks closer Archie Bradley said. “Even being four or 4 1/2 (games) back, whatever we are, with our remaining schedule, we feel pretty confident in it.”
[The Rattle] On Desperation and Mike Leake - Desperation pushes humans to do things they never wanted to do, whether that be asking for help, moving back into the basement, or countless other, occasionally illicit, activities. In baseball, it has similar effects. Except for some of the legends whose plaques line the halls of Cooperstown, every player eventually reaches a point where they are on the brink of losing their playing career. What I find interesting is what players try to do once they reach this point; do they try to learn a new pitch, push themselves harder during their workouts, or turn to something else (some going so far as to use banned substances) to try to stay in the game? This fight to stay in the game is occurring every day, often with players whose names we’ve never learned. But there are those players who we have come to know as major-league staples who slowly start aging and eventually reach a point where everybody knows that it’s only a matter of time before they lose that fight. Right now, that’s Mike Leake.
Around the League
[MLB.com] Cole teams with JV for a Major League first - Just when it appeared Justin Verlander had seized control of the American League Cy Young race, teammate Gerrit Cole remained on his heels by serving up a dominating performance of his own Monday afternoon. One day after Verlander spun his third career no-hitter, Cole dazzled for six innings at Miller Park, striking out 14 batters and allowing one run and three hits as the Astros reached 90 wins by using a 10th-inning homer by George Springer to beat the Brewers, 3-2, at Miller Park. “It’s nice to run alongside of him, that’s for sure,” Cole said of Verlander. According to Elias, the Astros are the first team to have pitchers with at least 14 strikeouts in consecutive games since the mound was moved to 60 feet, 6 inches in 1893.
[Detroit Free Press] Detroit Tigers minor leaguer Chace Numata dies from injuries in skateboarding accident - Chace Numata, a catcher for the Detroit Tigers’ Double-A affiliate, the Erie SeaWolves, died in an Erie hospital on Monday from injuries he sustained in a skateboarding accident. He was 27. The Pearl City, Hawaii, native was selected in the 14th round of the 2010 MLB draft by the Philadelphia Phillies. He signed a minor league deal with the Tigers in November and spent time between Double-A and Triple-A this season.