Saunders, Young lead D-backs to win over RockiesPosted: Updated:
PHOENIX (AP) Arizona left-hander Joe Saunders wasn't happy when he ended up on the disabled list four weeks ago.
At least now, with three starts and a solid outing in the Diamondbacks' 6-2 win against the Colorado Rockies on Tuesday night, he's finding some humor in his midseason hiatus.
"I learned my lesson that you don"t sleep on your left side the night before you pitch," said Saunders, sidelined with a left shoulder strain on June 23. "I didn't think I needed to go on the disabled list. You never think you need to go on the disabled list. But I think they thought it was in my best interest and the team's best interest to do it.
"Every break you get is nice but I kind of take price in not taking breaks," he said.
Saunders offered the Rockies few breaks in his seven-inning stint, scattering three hits and a walk over seven innings with a career high-tying nine strikeouts.
"I felt like I was getting ahead so that was the name of the game tonight," Saunders said.
Saunders (5-6) allowed only a single to reliever Josh Roenicke in the fifth and solo home runs to Michael Cuddyer in the fourth and sixth en route to his first win since June 10.
"We didn't pitch very well tonight and we didn't hit," Colorado manager Jim Tracy said. "You get three hits, the first baseman hits two solo home runs and you get a base hit from Roenicke, you are not going to win too many games that way. And you're not going to win too many games leaving balls up in the strike zone the way we did."
Saunders was aided by Chris Young, who homered, singled, stole a base, walked twice and scored twice.
Like Saunders, Young also spent time on the disabled list and missed 28 games with a bruised right shoulder. Arizona manager Kirk Gibson has tried to ease some of the pressure on Young in the two months since his return with some extra off days, anything to help a player whose batting average had tumbled to .215.
"They want to be out there," Gibson said.
To Young, the answer to his rollercoaster season is simple.
"It's just baseball," he said. "It's just how it goes. There are ups and downs but you just keep showing up and good things will happen."
Stephen Drew and Willie Bloomquist added RBI doubles and Miguel Montero had a two-run single for the Diamondbacks, who have outscored their opponents 45-18 over the past give games.
Arizona has scored at least six runs in seven straight games, the club's longest such streak since 2000.
"It's been amazing for the team," Young said. "The pitchers are doing a great job and the guys have been swinging the bats well every day since we got home."
Edwar Cabrera (0-2), who was recalled from Triple-A Colorado Springs earlier on Tuesday, lasted only 3 1-3 innings and allowed two runs on four hits and four walks.
In his only other major league start, Cabrera gave up seven runs - five earned - on five hits and three walks in 2 1-3 innings on June 27 against Washington.
"This was a lot different because I felt more comfortable today," Cabrera said. "I tried not to fall behind in the count. I was behind a lot."
Colorado has lost three straight and six of seven.
Cuddyer's first homer gave the Rockies a 1-0 lead. He pulled the Rockies 4-2 with his second long ball.
"That is a footnote," Cuddyer said of his second multihomer game of the season and eighth of his career. "You want to get the win first and foremost."