As the Arizona Diamondbacks embark on their longest road trip of the season -- which begins against the Washington Nationals Tuesday night -- they'll do so with a much-needed bat back in their lineup.
After Sunday's 4-2 loss to the Cincinnati Reds, manager Kirk Gibson announced that second baseman Aaron Hill will be activated from the disabled list -- a place he's been since April 16 after breaking his left hand -- and rejoin the team in time for their 10-game road swing against the NL East.
"It's been a long time," Hill said. "The guys have been doing a great, but it's been tough seeing how much fun they've been having. "It'll be fun to get back with the guys and go on a roll here."
The former All-Star spent the better part of the last week rehabbing with Triple-A Reno. In six games, Hill went 6-for-24 with eight runs scored, six RBI, a double and a triple.
In Hill's absence, the D-backs have gone 33-29 and moved from third to first place in the National West, doing so largely with a platoon of players at second base (Cliff Pennington, Willie Bloomquist, Josh Wilson and Martin Prado).
"A lot of guys have been going down, but these guys are playing great," said Hill. "Like I said, it's tough to watch all of these walk-off hits. I shouldn't say tough to watch, it's been fun to watch but tough not being a part of it.
"These guys have been doing great, pitching, bullpen, everybody. So it'll be interesting to see what we do when everybody comes back."
With Hill (.306, two home runs and six RBI) back on the 25-man roster, the D-backs have optioned left-handed reliever Joe Patterson to Triple-A Reno.