7/19/2014 1:54 A.M. ET
Goldy striving to build off stellar first half
By Adam Lichtenstein / MLB.com
PHOENIX -- Despite going 0-for-3 in the All-Star Game on Tuesday, first baseman Paul Goldschmidt is looking to carry his hot hitting from before the break into the second half of the season.
After going 1-for-3 with a walk and homer in the D-backs' 5-4 win on Friday, Goldschmidt is hitting .391 with a .491 on-base percentage and a .696 slugging percentage since the beginning of July. He also has hit eight doubles this month, contributing to his Major League-leading 36 two-baggers.
"It seems like a while ago now, after the break," Goldschmidt said. "I think when you're going good, you're probably keeping things simple."
Goldschmidt attributed at least part of his hot streak to being patient at the plate. He has never been a major walks producer -- he has struck out 187 more times than he's walked in his career. But since June 7, Goldschmidt leads the Major Leagues with 35 walks while striking out only 30 times.
"Sometimes [swinging at the right pitches] means being aggressive, sometimes being patient," he said.
On Friday, though, manager Kirk Gibson warned that the All-Star break can be a disruptive force.
"You've had the days off for the break, so anything that was happening could be interrupted," Gibson said. "You've been away from the game. Those guys went to the All-Star [Game], so it's a little bit different for [catcher Miguel Montero] and Goldy, so you kind of almost -- I don't want to say 'start over' -- but it is different."
Prado earns first career ejection; Gibson tossed too
PHOENIX -- Neither manager Kirk Gibson nor Martin Prado were in the dugout to enjoy the end of the D-backs' 5-4 win over the Cubs on Friday night.
Home-plate umpire Cory Blaser ejected Gibson and Prado after an argument in the eighth inning.
Prado grounded out to start the frame, and as the veteran third baseman jogged back to the dugout, he said something to Blaser, who then tossed him.
"There's a lot of emotions. I think I just overreacted," Prado said. "Most important thing -- we won the game."
It was the first time Prado had ever been ejected in his 933-game Major League career.
"I was trying to make it 1,000," Prado said, laughing. "I came up short."
After Prado was tossed, Gibson came out to talk to Blaser, who ejected Gibson in short order. Gibson has been thrown out of nine games in his career as a manager.
"We said what we had to say on the field," Gibson said. "We'll move on. It's not a big deal."
Prado said it was important for Gibson to show that he's willing to defend his players.
"You can rely on him, like whatever you do, he's going to be up there for us," he said.
D-backs finish Draft signings by inking 11th-rounder
PHOENIX -- Friday's deadline to sign picks from the 2014 First-Year Player Draft passed relatively uneventfully for the D-backs, but the club did come to terms with one additional selection.
The D-backs signed left-handed pitcher Jared Miller -- their 11th-round pick -- on Friday. The 6-foot-7 Miller previously pitched for Vanderbilt, where he owned a 3.59 ERA while appearing primarily out of the bullpen.
After 3 unbelievable years in Black & Gold I am proud to say that I will be continuing my baseball career with the Arizona Diamondbacks!!- Jared Miller (@JaredMiller24) July 18, 2014
The D-backs signed their first 12 picks of the Draft by June 20, including the No. 16 overall selection Touki Toussaint.
The D-backs wrapped up their Draft with 31 of their selections signed, while 11 did not join the organization.
The D-backs were unable to sign TCU first baseman Kevin Cron, who is the son of D-backs Minor League hitting coordinator Chris Cron and the brother of Angels designated hitter C.J. Cron.
The D-backs took high school pitcher J.B. Bukauskas in the 20th round, 600th overall, even though he was considered a top-tier talent.
The reason Bukauskas fell so far was because he told teams he planned on playing for the University of North Carolina and would not sign -- a promise he stuck to through the signing period.
"He's a talented kid," D-backs scouting director Ray Montgomery said after the Draft. "We respect his decision to want to go on down to North Carolina, and as far as his draft selection … You never know, things can change. If he ends up going on to North Carolina, good for him, we'll support that as well. But it was nice to be able to select him, and hopefully he was happy with that."
Owings progressing slowly from nagging shoulder
PHOENIX -- Shortstop Chris Owings has been out since June 25 with a strained left shoulder, and he still is not close to returning to the D-backs' lineup.
Owings said Thursday that he hasn't received a timetable for when he could return, but it doesn't look to be in the near future.
"This isn't what you want to be doing," Owings said. "It's tough, watching the team play on the road and just sitting in the dugout."
Owings, who is dealing with soreness, said he has been working on shoulder strengthening exercises, and while he hasn't been doing much hitting, he has been running the bases and fielding grounders.
"[I] was going to Salt River [the D-backs' Spring Training facility] over the break and just trying to do what they got me doing, trying to get back out there on the field," Owings said.
Manager Kirk Gibson, who stated on Thursday that Owings wasn't "progressing to the next level," said the shortstop was scheduled to see a doctor on Friday.
Owings was in the midst of a promising rookie season before this injury sidelined him. He was hitting .277 with a .771 on-base-plus-slugging percentage. His 1.9 WAR (wins above replacement) ranked fifth among National League shortstops.
Adam Lichtenstein is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.