Diamondbacks maintain seven-game lead thanks to Geoff Blum, Wade Miley

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Another day, another pair of new heroes for the Diamondbacks.

Utilityman Geoff Blum knocked in three runs and rookie Wade Miley notched the win as the Diamondbacks beat the Rockies 10-7 on Monday.

One of GM Kevin Towers’ most baffling decisions last winter was to sign Blum to a two-year, $2.7 million contract and set up a third-base platoon of he and Melvin Mora.  Fortunately for the Diamondbacks, both veterans got hurt early and Ryan Roberts shined as the replacement at third base, sending both Blum and Mora into obsolescence.  But while Mora was released long ago, Blum was allowed to spend most of the year chilling on the disabled list.  Activated on Sept. 1, he made his first start since returning today and drove in his third, fourth and fifth runs of the season.

Miley overcame a leadoff homer from Dexter Fowler and another solo shot from Mark Ellis to hold the Rockies to two runs in seven innings.  This year’s Barry Enright, he’s now 3-1 with a 3.52 ERA, even though he’s sporting an ugly 1.61 WHIP after four starts.

The Rockies made this one interesting late, as both Fowler and Troy Tulowitzki homered off Micah Owings in the ninth.  Tulo’s was a three-run shot that gave him his first career 100-RBI season.  However, Bryan Shaw took over after that and got the final out to end the game.

The brightside for the Rockies was undoubtedly Fowler, who also had a double to go along with his two homers.  Since returning from the minors on July 15, he’s hitting a remarkable .316/.406/.565 with three homers, 10 triples and 16 doubles in 193 at-bats.

Report: Steven Matz has been pitching through pain, may need elbow surgery

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Newsday’s Marc Carig reports that Mets starter Steven Matz has been pitching through pain for most of the season. He may need surgery to fix a nerve issue in his elbow. Matz was sidelined in spring training with an elbow injury and made his regular season debut on June 10.

Matz, 26, has struggled over 13 starts, posting a 6.08 ERA with a 48/19 K/BB ratio in 66 2/3 innings. Many were scrambling for explanations for his pitching woes and now they have it.

According to Carig, the Mets let Matz skip his bullpen sessions to help him pitch through the pain. Given the Mets’ shoddy history of dealing with injuries, that’s not a good look for the club.

Carig noted on Twitter that Jacob deGrom offers some optimism for Matz’s case. deGrom underwent right elbow surgery to repair ulnar nerve damage last September and bounced back to have a great season this year.

Clayton Kershaw’s simulated game went so well he threw an extra inning

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Dodgers lefty Clayton Kershaw was scheduled to throw three innings in a simulated game on Monday. That simulated game went so well, he threw an extra inning, MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick reports. Kershaw will make a minor league rehab start next and could be activated towards the end of next week.

Kershaw, 29, has been on the disabled list since July 24 with a lower back strain. That put the pause button on another outstanding season. He’s carrying a 15-2 record with a 2.04 ERA and a 168/24 K/BB ratio in 141 1/3 innings.

The 87-35 Dodgers have run away with the NL West, needing some combination of 20 wins and 20 Rockies losses (19 for the third-place Diamondbacks) to officially clinch the division. While the Dodgers are all but mathematically assured of reaching postseason baseball, the club would still like to get Kershaw as ready as possible over the next month-plus.