06/20/10 5:54 PM ET
Ex-mates Montero, Valverde trade barbs
By Steve Gilbert / MLB.com
After that game, Montero said Valverde was "unprofessional" and questioned his intelligence.
"Tell Montero he's a freaking rookie and I can do whatever I want to," Valverde told The Arizona Republic on Sunday morning. "Tell him that. Put it in the papers. If he wants to do something, tell him to come to my locker and let me know. I never liked Montero."
When informed of Valverde's comments, Montero shrugged and said he went on the field Saturday looking to see if Valverde had anything to say to him, but that Valverde walked by him without saying anything.
The two faced each other for the first time since the verbal barrage began when Montero stepped into the batter's box with one out and Valverde and the Tigers clinging to a 3-1 lead in the ninth.
Valverde threw a fastball to Montero for ball one and then used a split-finger fastball to get Montero to ground out easily to the first baseman.
"He's a good pitcher," Montero said. "I thought he was going to challenge me with a fastball and he didn't. He threw a fastball first pitch and I felt like he was going to challenge me again and he didn't. I was looking for the fastball and he made a good pitch, a splitty."
Neither manager cared to weigh in on the spat between the former teammates. Valverde, though, had the support of his teammates
"He's been doing it his entire career," Tigers outfielder Johnny Damon said of Valverde's demonstrative behavior on the mound. "I like it better since he's on my team. But Montero isn't going to be the last guy to be upset about it. I just hope Valverde keeps on doing it because that means we are winning ballgames. Playing this game for a long time I try not to have complaints about anything. The only thing you can do is compete and hustle."
Day off helps Reynolds at plate
DETROIT -- A day off appeared to be the perfect tonic for what ailed Mark Reynolds.
After watching Reynolds strike out 13 times in 15 at-bats, D-backs manager A.J. Hinch elected to give Reynolds a complete day off in Friday's series opener against the Tigers.
It was not just the fact that Reynolds was making outs, but his postgame comments Thursday -- when Reynolds said he had lost his confidence at the plate -- made Hinch concerned for his third baseman's mental state.
Reynolds responded to the day off by hitting a two-run homer in his first at-bat Saturday and going 2-for-3 with a walk. He was asked after the game if the day off improved his mental state.
"You've got to put me in the psych ward or something," he joked.
On a serious note, the mental blow, he said, did help.
"I didn't have to worry about playing, I didn't have to worry about scouting the pitcher, I just relaxed and worked in the cage and tried to iron some stuff out," he said. "My first at-bat [Saturday], I went up there confident and was able to put a good swing on the ball and that kind of got me rolling for the day and hopefully it carries over to [Sunday]."
The D-backs will stay in rotation after Thursday's off-day, which means an extra day of rest for each of the starters. Edwin Jackson, Ian Kennedy and Rodrigo Lopez will start in the series against the Rays in Tampa. "As much as we've leaned on our starters and have had them pitch deep into games, I'm going to take advantage of the extra downtime," D-backs manager A.J. Hinch said. Look for the D-backs to stay in rotation until the All-Star break. ... Hinch is aware that the near-sellout crowds for the Yankees series this week at Chase Field will not all be rooting for the home team. "The Yankees always come with a traveling part," he said. "I think the environment will be nice. Hopefully it can be more favorable for us." ... Outfielder Chris Young has hit safely in 10 of his last 11 games and leads the team with 49 RBIs. ... One day after having a good game following an off-day, third baseman Mark Reynolds went 0-for-3 with three strikeouts.
Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.