Didi Gregorius announces his return with homer in first at-bat

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Diamondbacks shortstop Didi Gregorius homered on the first pitch he saw this season, a Phil Hughes fastball that went into the Yankee Stadium stands in left-center. A week later Gregorius was hit in the head with a Josh Outman fastball and had to go on the seven-day concussion disabled list.

Gregorius was activated for today’s game, the series finale in San Diego. As if on cue, the 23-year-old homered in his first at-bat back, taking an Edinson Volquez sinker out to right field. In 30 plate appearances, Gregorius was carrying a .407/.448/.778 line up until he was injured, and has only improved that with his performance today against the Padres.

The D-Backs acquired Gregorius from the Cincinnati Reds in a three-way trade in December and he was rated the #63 overall prospect by MLB.com heading into the 2013 season.

Another young fan was struck by a foul ball, this time at Guaranteed Rate Field

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ESPN reports via the Associated Press that a young boy was struck by a line drive foul ball but was not seriously injured during Sunday afternoon’s game against the Royals. The boy and a woman were escorted by a first aid crew to the concourse area and the boy was later eating ice cream in a luxury suite.

A woman was struck in the face by a foul ball also on the first base side at Guaranteed Rate Field on Friday, but she didn’t request medical assistance.

Last week, a young fan at Yankee Stadium was hit by a line drive foul ball, which motivated several teams to commit to extending protective netting at their ballparks. The Yankees, strangely, were not among them. Nor were the White Sox.

Diamondbacks clinch NL Wild Card

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Losses by the Cardinals to the Pirates and the Brewers to the Cubs on Sunday clinched an NL Wild Card berth for the Diamondbacks. Their walk-off, 3-2 win over the Marlins earned them hosting rights for the Wild Card game.

The D-Backs, now 90-66, trailed the Marlins 2-1 going into the bottom of the eighth. Daniel Descalso tied the game at two apiece with an RBI single off of Brad Ziegler. Second half hero J.D. Martinez secured the win with a walk-off RBI single in the bottom of the ninth against Javy Guerra.

The Rockies beat the Padres on Sunday to increase their lead over the Brewers (+2) and Cardinals (+2.5) for the second Wild Card slot. One of these three teams will visit Arizona for the Wild Card game.

The Diamondbacks are back in the playoffs for the first time since 2011, when they lost the Division Series in five games to the Brewers.