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Arizona Diamondbacks

Home cooking, comfort playing key roles in Martin Prado's resurgence

Arizona Diamondbacks' Martin Prado, left, rounds the bases after hitting a solo home run as Tampa Bay Rays' Evan Longoria looks on during the third inning of a baseball game on Wednesday, Aug. 7, 2013, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York)

Martin Prado is on fire.

Not literally, of course, because that would be bad. But figuratively, and it's good. Real good.

Prado is tearing things up at the plate, hitting a blistering .347 with four home runs, 22 RBI, 12 walks and just seven strikeouts since the calendar turned to July.

The stretch has raised the infielder's batting average to .274 on the year, with the rest of his numbers starting to more closely resemble his career marks.

And to what does he attribute the recent hot streak? His mother.

"She's been here for five weeks already," Prado told the Arizona Diamondbacks postgame show on Arizona Sports 620 after Wednesday's win. "People don't believe, but I believe that home cooking makes you better."

Prado said she was with the team in Boston, too, and it would seem at this point there's no way he'll let her leave.

Home cooking aside, the recent stretch has showed more of the player Prado was in Atlanta and not the one he was to begin his Diamondbacks career.

And given that he was the central piece in one of the most high-profile trades of the offseason, having him start to hit is not at all a bad thing.

"I've been doing the same thing, the only difference is there were a lot of changes," Prado said of his rough start to the season. "One of the changes was getting to know everybody on the team, get to know everybody in the training room.

"You know, letting everyone know about what I can do, what I can bring to the table every day."

What Prado has brought, even while struggling at the dish, was solid defense at third base, second base, left field and shortstop. His ability to play multiple positions was -- and no doubt, is -- valuable, but at the same time his bat certainly needed to come around.

It seems like all he needed was time, both to get over the trade from Atlanta as well as to get used to being a Diamondback. Prado had spent the first seven years of his career with the Braves, forging relationships within the franchise and community. So really, perhaps it makes sense that the team's road trip that brought him back to Atlanta in late June sparked the resurgence. He went 4-for-11 that series, and hasn't looked back.

"I just figured out, 'Hey this is where I'm at right now and I have to deal with it and I've got to move on,'" he said. "I started feeling a little bit better about myself, about my new team, my new teammates.

"I figured out these guys need me. They need me on the Arizona Diamondbacks and that's what I feel like right now."

About the Author

School: University of Arizona

When you started with Bonneville Phoenix: Fall 2008, right before Cardinals Super Bowl run

Favorite sports memory: Being at Game 7 of the 2001 World Series with my dad

Favorite all-time athlete: Larry Centers

Favorite sports movies: The Sandlot, Rookie of the Year, Jerry Maguire

Most crushing sports moment: Grew up in Arizona and went to UA from 2002-06. In short, there are too many to name just one.


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