LOS ANGELES - The Diamondbacks’ offensive numbers in July reinforced the team’s decision not to make a major play for a bat at the July 31 nonwaiver trade deadline.
The D-Backs had their highest batting average of any month in the season at .272 for July, a big jump over a .224 in June, their worst hitting month of the year.
During July, Orlando Hudson (.358), Chad Tracy (.351) and Conor Jackson (.343) were in the top 12 in batting average among NL qualifiers, and both Tracy and Jackson had 15 RBIs.
“We’re hitting like we did in April,” said Mark Reynolds, who had five homers and 18 RBIs in July.
“With our pitching, we feel like we’ll be in every game.”
Jackson had six doubles, a triple and five home runs while scoring 20 runs in July. Tracy had eight doubles and two home runs in only 77 at-bats.
The D-Backs rushed to the top of the NL West — they were 20-8 in March/April — while hitting .267 with 36 home runs and 165 runs. They hit .244 with 117 runs in May. They scored only 90 runs in June.
Chris Snyder, who missed the first 20 days of July with a bruised testicle, had 10 RBIs in the final nine games of the month.
REYNOLDS FEELS RIGHT
Reynolds’ double down the right-field line drove in the tying run in the seventh inning of a 2-1 victory Thursday, and he was looking to go to the opposite field all the way off Dodgers starter Derek Lowe.
“Every pitch he had thrown me earlier in the game was outside, and I got that pitch out there again,” said Reynolds, who leads the D-Backs with 70 RBIs.
“It was not so much a change in approach as a change in what I was looking for. We had to get that run, and I knew he wasn’t going to come in(side).”
Reynolds had nine hits in his last 23 at-bats (.391) with runners in scoring position, including three doubles and two home runs.
“I need to pretend there are runners on base all the time. I don’t know what it is, but when there are runners on base, I hit. It’s not like I try harder. It just happens that way,” he said.
Reynolds was hitting .311 for the season with runners in scoring position.
Hudson is hitting .354, Tracy .349 and Jackson .330.
JUAN CRUZ RETURNS
Right-hander Juan Cruz, out since July 5, was activated from the disabled list, further strengthening a bullpen that added Jon Rauch in Cruz’s absence.
“We’ve always had a good bullpen,” said Cruz, 2-0 with a 3.23 ERA. “With (Rauch), we’re better.”
Cruz, who was injured when he suffered a strained oblique muscle while pitching to San Diego’s Adrian Gonzalez, is expected to fill more of a middle-inning role for the rest of the season, with Rauch, Tony Pena and Chad Qualls the primary setup men for closer Brandon Lyon.
Jailen Peguero was returned to Triple-A Tucson to make room on the roster.
The D-Backs signed third-round draft pick right-hander Kevin Eichhorn (Aptos, Calif., High) and 27th rounder right-hander Bryan Cook (USC). Eichhorn, son of former major leaguer Mark Eichhorn, is to report to Rookie League Missoula and Cook is to report to Class A short-season Yakima. …
Arizona was bypassed as a host site for the second World Baseball Classic, which will be played March 5-23, 2009. Both Chase Field and Scottsdale Stadium were used in the first round of the inaugural Classic in 2006, but this time all four first-round sites are out of the U.S. – Mexico City, Toronto, Tokyo and San Juan, Puerto Rico. ...
The D-Backs’ 2-1 victory over Los Angeles on Thursday was the highest-rated TV show in the Valley for the day, FSN Arizona said, citing Nielsen Media Research figures.