Owings moves up against lefty Parra
Pitcher hits in No. 8 spot for first time in franchise history
MILWAUKEE -- Bob Melvin cautioned not to read too much into it.
The D-backs' manager said the fact that pitcher Micah Owings was in the No. 8 spot in the lineup Wednesday was not a sign of things to come, but rather a matchup decision.
With Owings hitting eighth, Alex Romero, playing left field in place of the injured Eric Byrnes, batted ninth against southpaw Manny Parra. It's the first time in franchise history that the starting pitcher hit in a spot other than ninth in the lineup.
"We have one left-hander in the lineup, Romero, against the left-handed pitcher, so we'll hit Micah eighth and Romero ninth," Melvin said. "Really nothing too much [went] into it except for [the fact that] Micah swings the bat well, and with a lefty on the mound, we just moved him up a spot."
Owings, who has been called on to pinch-hit eight times this year, received national attention for his hitting last year when he smacked two home runs in a game against the Braves. He came into Wednesday's game hitting .297 with two doubles and a home run.
Melvin also gave a day off to shortstop Stephen Drew and first baseman Chad Tracy. Augie Ojeda started at short and hit leadoff, while Chris Burke got the nod at first and was put in the No. 2 hole. Outfielder Chris Young was moved from second in the lineup to fifth.
"Burke's been swinging pretty well, so I put him in the two-hole, C.Y. in a little more of a production spot," Melvin said.
It's no secret that the D-backs' offense hasn't exactly been lighting up scoreboards of late.
"We've been struggling to an extent," Melvin said. "It's really more about mixing the lineup up and putting him up a spot. I really don't make too much of it."
Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.