Roberts powers Diamondbacks to 11-4 victory

J.J. Putz usually doesn’t need much work in spring training to

get ready for the season.

Good thing, since he pitched just 2 1-3 innings for the Arizona

Diamondbacks this spring. And that’s fine with him.

”I think all systems are go,” Putz said Tuesday after his

first appearance in nearly two weeks. ”I feel like I’m


Putz, who had been sidelined with a stiff back since March 18

and hadn’t appeared in a game since March 16, worked the ninth

inning of an 11-4 victory over Monterrey of the Mexican League.

He struck out three, including the first two he faced, but also

hit a batter, walked one and gave up an RBI single.

Putz, signed in the offseason to be the team’s closer, said only

one pitch wasn’t working for him.

”The split was terrible,” he said. ”There’s days were the

split is just not there. Today was just one of those days. My

slider was good. I thought I had pretty good movement on my


Manager Kirk Gibson was pleased with Putz’s perform and said he

would like to use him one more time before the season starts.

”Overall, a pretty good day for him,” Gibson said. ”I’m

hoping that he’ll be capable of throwing to another hitter or so


Ryan Roberts hit a grand slam, continuing his impressive spring,

Brandon Allen added a home run, and Justin Upton and Chris Young

each had two RBIs for Arizona’s split-squad.

Roberts, who came in leading the majors with a .519 average and

.609 on-base percentage, went 1 for 2 with a walk and now has 15

RBIs and 14 walks in 30 games.

Notes: Arizona SS Stephen Drew, who has been dealing with an

abdominal injury, had an MRI exam and met with a specialist before

the game. The MRI came back negative, and he has been diagnosed

with a lower-abdominal strain. Drew is listed as day to day, and

Gibson said his status for opening day is ”up in the air.” …

Gibson said 1B Allen will be sent to Triple A Reno.