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Paul Goldschmidt returns to lineup after missing five straight games

Arizona Diamondbacks' Paul Goldschmidt connects for a three-run home run against the San Francisco Giants during the eighth inning of a baseball game Sunday, Aug. 27, 2017, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Arizona Diamondbacks first baseman Paul Goldschmidt was given the green light to return to the lineup against the San Diego Padres Saturday after missing five straight games due to an elbow issue that kept him sidelined.

Since Sept. 2, Goldschmidt has not been in the lineup, but the D-backs continued to roll, putting up four straight wins against playoff-caliber teams in the Colorado Rockies and the NL-leading Los Angeles Dodgers.

But that doesn’t mean the D-backs don’t want their perennial All-Star back on the field.

Goldschmidt is enjoying perhaps the best season of his career. He ranks among the league leaders in several statistical categories, including batting average (.314, seventh), home runs (33, fifth), RBI (109, tied for third), slugging (.597, fifth), on base (.424, second) and OPS (1.022, fifth).

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