D-backs keeping Mora out after car accident
Gibson taking precautionary measures after hit from behind
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Veteran infielder Mevin Mora's car was struck from behind by another vehicle Monday morning on State Route 101 in Arizona, and he is expected to be held out of action the next few days for precautionary reasons.
Mora, who was scheduled to start at third base in the D-backs' split-squad game in Tucson, didn't suffer any serious injuries, according to manager Kirk Gibson.
"He got hit from behind, so he might be out for a little while," Gibson said. "So, we might take the opportunity to move Ryan [Roberts] over [to third base]."
Mora, 39, hit .285 with seven home runs and 45 RBIs in 113 games with the Rockies last season.
Heilman stretches out in third start for D-backs
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Right-hander Aaron Heilman, who is hoping to make the D-backs' starting rotation after spending the past five seasons as a reliever, was scheduled to pitch four innings in Monday's 8-6 win over the Royals.
He lasted just three while allowed five runs (three earned) on four hits and a walk. Thirty-one of his 48 pitches went for strikes. Heilman was especially hurt by the long ball on a windy day, as Melky Cabrera hit a solo homer in the second inning and Kila Ka'aihue crushed a three-run homer in the third.
"I felt all right," Heilman said. "I certainly didn't have my best stuff and might've rushed it a little bit. I left some pitches over the middle of the plate and got hurt."
Heilman said the one positive he took out of his start was his success with his slider, as he was able to get a few swings and misses with the pitch, including a pair of strikeouts in the first inning.
"I guess I should've thrown only sliders and I would've been all right," Heilman joked. "I tried to throw it and made some adjustments, but I just didn't do it soon enough."
Increasing his longevity in starts is a big step for Heilman after impressing in his first two outings, when he allowed just one hit and no runs over a combined five innings of work.
"I like the way he's pitching," said D-backs manager Kirk Gibson. "He has to just keep being consistent. And the thing about him starting is that he's had to use his secondary stuff more than just the fastball and changeup. His slider is really improving. And he has such a good sinker."
The 32-year-old last started in the Majors in 2005 with the Mets, when he made seven starts early in the season before being converted to a reliever. Heilman posted a 4.50 ERA in 70 appearances as a reliever for the D-backs last season.
D-backs set new spring attendance record
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- The D-backs set a new Spring Training attendance record by selling 148,943 tickets to date during the inaugural season at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick, the club announced on Monday.
The attendance record breaks the previous mark of 136,940 tickets sold during the 2002 Spring Training season in Tucson, which followed Arizona's World Series victory in '01.
The D-backs have drawn 60,817 fans in six home games this spring at Salt River Fields, including three sellouts, and lead the Cactus League with an average attendance of 10,136. That total ranks second in the Majors, with the Yankees averaging 10,530 fans at Steinbrenner Field in Tampa, Fla.
"The response from fans about the team and Salt River Fields continues to be overwhelmingly positive," D-backs president and CEO Derrick Hall said in a statement. "We knew we would see an attendance increase after moving our Spring Training headquarters to the Valley, but setting a new total attendance record during the first week of March is outstanding."