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09/29/09 9:41 PM ET
Buckner to start Friday for D-backs
Cabrera or Petit will get nod Saturday vs. Cubs
By Rick Eymer / Special to MLB.com
SAN FRANCISCO -- D-backs manager A.J. Hinch said right-hander Billy Buckner will start Friday night's game in Chicago. Saturday's starter remains to be announced, though the decision will be between right-handers Daniel Cabrera and Yusmeiro Petit. "I'm leaning toward Cabrera, and Petit is a good option to have," Hinch said before Tuesday night's game against the Giants. "It depends on the length we need out of the bullpen tonight and Wednesday. Neither pitcher is built up to go more than three or four innings." Buckner will be going on his regular turn Friday. He's coming off a victory over the Padres in the D-backs' final home game of the year Sunday. He went seven innings and earned his first victory since June 1, ending a personal five-game losing streak. Buckner pitched well enough to win two September starts, though he was saddled with a no-decision both times. He allowed a combined two earned runs in 13 innings. Despite his eye-opening 6.59 ERA, Buckner has pitched well lately, lowering his ERA in each of his last five starts. He also has 18 strikeouts in his last 17 1/3 innings. Cabrera started 154 games with the Baltimore Orioles and Washington Nationals over the past six seasons and was briefly a starter with Triple-A Reno before getting his chance with the D-backs in September. "He's an interesting, intriguing guy who has been through this before," Hinch said. "He's pitched well outside of his first outing." Cabrera was released by the Nationals on June 5. He signed with the D-backs as a Minor League free agent two months later. He made four starts in Reno, allowing 10 runs in 14 2/3 innings before joining the D-backs. He has a current streak of five scoreless innings over his last three outings. He pitched a scoreless inning against the Padres on Saturday in his last appearance. "He's been good in limited opportunities," Hinch said. "The extended role has been good for him." Petit has not appeared in a game since facing three batters on Sept. 16, giving up two hits.
Rick Eymer is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.