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Arizona's Hill leads NL second basemen

The SportsXchange

Aaron Hill is making a run at a matching Silver Slugger Award.

Hill, who won the American League Silver Slugger at second base in 2009, is the front-runner to win the National League Silver Slugger this season, buoyed by a big wraparound series in Colorado that has included three doubles, a triple and a home run.

His three-run homer broke a tie at 4 in the eighth inning of the D-backs' 10-7 victory over the Rockies at Coors Field, their third straight win. They will go for the sweep Monday night. Hill doubled twice in the first game of the series Friday, tripled and drove in four runs Saturday, and also doubled again Sunday. He has four runs and eight RBI in the series.

Hill homered on the eighth pitch of his last at-bat, fouling off three two-strike pitches before homering into the left-field stands.

"He (Matt Belisle) threw some good pitches. I was just able to fortunately foul them off until I got a pitch to hit. It ended up working out," Hill said.

Hill, hitting .301, leads NL second basemen with 40 doubles, 24 home runs and 78 RBI. He is one double and one homer short of New York Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano for the major-league lead at the position. Hill also has 14 stolen bases.

Cincinnati's Brandon Phillips, the defending NL Silver Slugger award winner, is hitting .286 with 30 doubles, 18 homers and 76 RBI. Chase Utley won the award from 2006 to 2009 before Dan Uggla won it in 2010.

Manager Kirk Gibson said he toyed with the idea of dropping Hill into the No. 5 hole while giving catcher Miguel Montero a day off.

"Aaron's just been so steady. It's good to have him in the two-hole," Gibson said. "I did have a lineup today where I was going to put him down fifth, but he's been so clutch for us that you want him to get that extra at-bat."

Hill, 30, has made a big splash in his first full season with the D-backs. He hit for the cycle against Seattle on June 18, and he became the second major-leaguer in modern history to have two cycles in the same season when he did it at Milwaukee 11 days later. He accomplished the feat in four plate appearances against Seattle, and he added a stolen base against Milwaukee.
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