Dontrelle throws six scoreless in D'Backs debut

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Dontrelle Willis headshot.jpgDontrelle Willis joined up with the Diamondbacks just a few days ago in a trade from the Tigers and made his Arizona debut on Saturday night against the Rockies.  He did fantastic by his own recent standards, hurling six scoreless innings and earning his first National League victory since going 10-15 back in 2007 for the Marlins.

Does it mean he’s all of a sudden going to turn his career around?  No.  Some of the control issues that plagued him in Detroit cropped up on Saturday, as he walked four batters and threw only 60 of his 106 pitches for strikes.  But he was far better in damage control situations and escaped every major jam that the Rockies’ talented lineup presented to him.

The D’Backs can finish off a three-game sweep of Colorado on Sunday afternoon, but they’ll have to get through Ubaldo Jimenez (10-1, 0.78 ERA) in order to do it.

Alex Dickerson to miss 2017 season after undergoing back surgery

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Padres’ outfielder Alex Dickerson won’t see PETCO Park anytime soon — at least, not as its starting left fielder. The 27-year-old was diagnosed with a bulging disc in his lower back prior to the start of the 2017 season, and hasn’t made any kind of substantial progress in the months since. According to Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune, he suffered a setback in his recovery process last week and is set to undergo a season-ending discectomy next Wednesday.

Over 285 plate appearances, Dickerson batted .257/.333/.455 with 10 home runs and a .788 OPS for the Padres in 2016. He missed several days with a right hip contusion last July, but hasn’t experienced any substantial health problems since undergoing surgery in 2014 to repair a torn ligament in his left ankle.

The expected recovery period for lower back surgery is 3-4 months, according to Lin, which puts Dickerson’s estimated return just a few days before the end of the regular season. The Padres aren’t scraping the bottom of the NL West, but their 29-44 record doesn’t bode well for a postseason run this year. Assuming Dickerson rehabs his back in a timely manner, he should be in fine form to enter the competition for left field next spring.

Video: Hanley Ramirez’s No. 250 career home run barely left the field

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Hanley Ramirez played a pivotal role during the Red Sox’ 9-4 win over the Angels on Friday night, crushing a two-run homer off of Alex Meyer to bring the Sox up to a four-run lead in the fourth inning.

Well, crushed might be the wrong word. The ball cleared the right field fence with a mere 350 feet, landing just beyond Pesky’s Pole to bring Ramirez’s career home run total to an even 250.

According to the ESPN Home Run Tracker, Ramirez’s milestone blast wasn’t the shortest home run of the year — not by a long shot. That distinction currently belongs to Rays’ outfielder Corey Dickerson, who skimmed the left field fence at Rogers Centre with a 326-foot homer back in April.