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Davidson's dinger boosts Diamondbacks

The SportsXchange

DENVER -- Matt Davidson made his major league debut on Aug. 15, and Saturday night he played his 25th game for the Arizona Diamondbacks. He is 22 and one of the club's better prospects, largely because of his power bat.

Davidson was taken out of the game in the seventh inning for defensive purposes as Arizona manager Kirk Gibson sought to protect a four-run lead built mostly by Davidson.

He hit a three-run homer that helped the Arizona Diamondbacks beat the Colorado Rockies 7-2. It was Davidson's second career homer, with the other also coming against the Rockies on Sept. 15.

Trevor Cahill pitched 5 2/3 innings, surviving a line drive off his right hip in the same spot -- but less directly -- where he was hit June 19 and soon thereafter was forced to go on the disabled list.

Davidson's home run came off starter Collin McHugh and highlighted a four-run third when the Diamondbacks extended their lead to 6-0.

After striking out three times in a game at Los Angeles on Sept. 15, Davidson eliminated his leg kick, a timing device that was impeding him.

"The leg kick, there's a lot that goes on, there's a lot of movement," Arizona manager Kirk Gibson said. "And some guys can do it. I think you kind of want to shorten everything up, have less moving parts, make it easier."

Cahill (8-10) pitched 5 2/3 innings for the Diamondbacks, allowing seven hits and two runs, one earned, and departing after throwing 103 pitches. He escaped trouble as well as a deja vu experience in the first.

Charlie Blackmon, who went 3-for-5, opened the inning with a double and DJ LeMahieu lined a ball of Cahill's right hip in the same spot where Miami's Marcell Ozuna nailed him.

"But not as bad, it kind of glanced off," Cahill said. "I was kind of sore for a couple innings but actually felt better as the game went on. So it's a good sign."

Cahill quickly regrouped and stranded runners at the corners by sandwiching strikeouts of Corey Dickerson and Culberson around Todd Helton's lineout to shortstop. Cahill yielded an unearned run in the fourth when catcher Tuffy Gosewisch made a throwing error, setting up Jordan Pacheco's sacrifice fly.

Cahill left in the sixth after Jonathan Herrera grounded a run-scoring single to left, cutting the Rockies' lead to 6-2. That hit put runners on first and second for Josh Collmenter, who struck out pinch-hitter Ryan Wheeler.

After suffering a right hip contusion on June 19, Cahill made two poor starts and went on the disabled list July 1. He was activated Aug. 17 and has since gone 5-0 with a 2.64 ERA (13 earned runs, 44 1/3 innings) in eight games, including seven starts.

McHugh (0-3) made his second straight start for the Rockies in place of injured Jorge De La Rosa (left thumb) and fared nowhere near as well as he did Monday when he limited the St. Louis Cardinals to one run in five innings. McHugh again worked five innings but gave up 11 hits and six runs.

"Too many balls up, in the middle of the plate," McHugh said. "I had success my last outing by keeping the ball down, keeping the ball out of the middle of the plate. Tonight I got beat in a couple of big spots. My command was not great today."

McHugh got ahead of Davidson 1-2 but gave up the three-run homer on a 91 mph fastball with the count 2-2 and Davidson swinging these days minus a leg kick.

"I'm just taking a small little step and just getting that (front) foot down. And that's all," Davidson said. "It's feeling comfortable. It's giving me just a better chance to be on time every pitch."

Gerardo Parra and Chris Owings, each of whom had three hits, followed Davidson's homer with back-to-back doubles to finish the scoring in the four-run third.

Martin Prado doubled home a run with two out in the first. Willie Bloomquist, who singled, was running on contact and scored. Gosewisch singled home a run in the second after Parra doubled and took third on Owings' grounder.

The Diamondbacks scored their final run in the ninth off Rob Scahill. Adam Eaton led off with a single, stole second and moved to third on a flyout. Paul Goldschmidt hit a ball about 30 feet that Scahill fielded but not in time to get Goldschmidt, who leads the National League with 122 RBIs.

NOTES: Rockies RF Michael Cuddyer took swings off a tee for the first time since he strained his left wrist making a diving catch on Wednesday. He hopes to play Sunday. Cuddyer is hitting .331, one point behind Atlanta's Chris Johnson, who raised his average one point to .332 by going 2-for-4 on Saturday. ... Rockies 3B Nolan Arenado pinch hit and grounded out in the ninth. His bruised right thumb flared up when he played Friday after missing three games. ... According to Elias Sports Bureau, Jhoulys Chacin became the first Rockies pitcher to hit a home run and post a win at Coors Field since Darren Oliver on July 10, 2003.
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