Hill, Bloomquist, Kubel pulled from game

Associated Press

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — The Arizona Diamondbacks felt pretty fortunate after three key players were injured during Tuesday night’s spring training game.

Second baseman Aaron Hill, shortstop Willie Bloomquist and left fielder Jason Kubel all were removed before Arizona scored seven runs in the eighth inning to beat the Los Angeles Angels 7-1.

The injury to Bloomquist (right oblique strain) appears to be the most serious. Hill and Kubel might not need much time off at all.

Hill was hit on the left pinkie by a pitch from Angels ace Jered Weaver, who gave up only two hits in seven scoreless innings.

“No big deal. He got me OK. It will be a little sore,” Hill said, expressing his desire to play Wednesday. “Passed all the tests, I guess. No reason to take X-rays.”

Bloomquist and Kubel (left ankle discomfort) came out after the fourth.

Kubel got one at-bat, a groundout in the second inning, but felt discomfort in his left ankle. He was replaced by Alfredo Marte, who was brought back to major league camp from the minor league side. Marte had been optioned to Triple-A Reno on March 13.

“I kind of banged it when I banged my knee on Sunday. Since then it’s kind of been giving out a bit,” Kubel said. “I’m not too concerned about it, though.”

Kubel wasn’t scheduled to play Wednesday and was going to get some at-bats in a minor league game. He indicated that he might have slightly irritated some previous nerve damage.

“If he needs some time on his ankle, that will be fine,” manager Kirk Gibson said.

The Diamondbacks were already short-handed.

Starting center fielder Adam Eaton could miss two months with a sprained elbow. Another outfielder, Cody Ross, has a calf injury and his status for opening day is in doubt. Middle infielder Didi Gregorius has an elbow injury and is likely to start the season on the disabled list.

The injuries took some attention away from two No. 1 starters who were very sharp in their final tuneups for opening day.

Weaver struck out three and walked one while facing 25 batters.

“That’s a terrific outing,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. “They had some good hitters in their lineup and he was just working spots all night and did a great job. The fact that he got seven complete and did it in real economic fashion is important.”

Ian Kennedy was just about as good. The right-hander struck out eight in 6 2-3 scoreless innings of two-hit ball for Arizona.

“You always want that last one to be pretty good,” Kennedy said. “My arm speed was there, my off-speed was there and the command was there.”

Los Angeles scored a run in the eighth off reliever Heath Bell, but the Diamondbacks got seven in their half. Eric Chavez hit a solo home run, Eric Hinske doubled in two runs and Marte hit a three-run homer.