PHOENIX — A big league hero one night, a minor leaguer the next. So it goes in baseball sometimes.
Before the euphoria had even worn off from Tony Campana’s game-winning hit Wednesday night, the Diamondbacks outfielder was on his way back to the minors, returned to Triple-A Reno when the D-backs selected the contract of reliever Matt Stites, who is making his first trip to the majors.
Shortly before Campana got word he was headed back to Reno, his ninth-inning single up the middle gave the D-backs a 4-3 win over the Brewers. He didn’t leave Phoenix without some parting words of encouragement from D-backs manager Kirk Gibson.
"I told him going out the door ‘You can be better than that,’" Gibson said. "I emphasized him hitting the ball on the ground more. … He’s got a good attitude about it. He understands."
Tony Campana gets a bubble gum shower from teammate Gerardo Parra after Wednesday night’s game-winning hit.
Though Campana leads the major leagues since 2011 with an 89.2 stolen base success rate (66 of 74), he struggles to get on base consistently. In parts of four seasons, Campana owns a .294 on-base percentage.
Having been called up last Friday, Campana didn’t even make it a week in his latest major-league stint. He collected one hit and the lone RBI in 10 at-bats.
"He did a good job for us," Gibson said. "He’s a guy that’s been there for us in Triple-A when we needed him."
Campana may have been on the way out Friday anyway, as center fielder Ender Inciarte is expected to be activated from the 7-day concussion disabled list. Inciarte passed concussion tests Wednesday and played three simulated innings at the D-backs’ spring training facility, going 3 for 3.
"All indications are he’s good," Gibson said.
The D-backs presumably could have waited until Friday to send Campana out but opted to add pitching for Thursday’s series finale with the Brewers. Stites, who was acquired from San Diego last year as part of the Ian Kennedy trade, started the season at Double-A Mobile before being promoted in May to Reno, where he had a 2.25 ERA, 15 strikeouts and 12 saves in 17 appearances.
"He’s got a good arm," Gibson said. "He’s pretty good at location. That’s one thing that’s really, really important and we’ve talked about forever."