Monday, July 18, 2011

D-backs' pitchers showing prowess at plate

By Anthony Fenech / | 07/18/11

PHOENIX -- The dinner explains it all.

The D-backs' starting pitchers have a National League-leading four home runs and 19 RBIs, as well as the second-highest batting average in the Senior Circuit.

"It keeps things fun," Daniel Hudson said about a monthly hitting competition between Arizona starters, with dinner on the line.

"It's a friendly competition," he said, before noting that he's never lost.

Each month, the group picks a different category -- hits, sacrifice bunts, on-base percentage -- with the loser buying dinner.

"It keeps things light," Hudson said.

Hudson is hitting .359 with a home run and 12 RBIs this season, anchoring the staff. Not to be forgotten is bullpen teammate Micah Owings, who sports a career .288 average.

"It's been awesome watching him swing it the way he has," Owings said. "It brings back a couple of memories of back when I did it a little bit. My hat's off to him."

Owings credits his offensive success to getting a chance early in his career to swing the bat in the NL, and says that being able to hit is an added plus to any team.

"We've got some starters and guys in the 'pen that can swing it, so it's always nice to give [manager Kirk Gibson] some options," Owings said.

The D-backs' 29 hits and .176 pitchers' average -- entering Monday's action -- both place second in the NL to the Brewers, whose staff has 33 hits with a .193 average.

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