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Arizona Diamondbacks’ Aaron Hill improved, available if needed

PHOENIX – Aaron Hill tried, but in the end the Arizona Diamondbacks starting second baseman failed to convince his manager to insert him in the lineup for the series opener against the San Diego Padres on Monday.

“He’s good. He texted me and wanted to play,” manager Kirk Gibson said.

Hill had left the second game of Sunday’s doubleheader against the New York Mets for precautionary reasons after fouling a ball off his left ankle.

“I talked to (head athletic trainer) Ken (Crenshaw) today and all things considered, we’re going to give him another day. He’s available (to play). I’m sure he’s going to hit in the cage,” Gibson said. “He had a pretty big knot on there and actually he could play the field okay, but the hitting really bothered him, so we’re going to give him another day to get some more inflammation out of there.”

Hill, who was 2-for-8 with a double and two runs scored in the three games against the Mets, was not wearing his shin guard as he normally does.

“Maybe he’s convinced he should wear his pad all the time now,” Gibson said with a smile. “Actually, he says when he starts hitting balls like that then that’s a good sign. He’s starting to get the head (of the bat) out and that’s what happens, so he’s going to have to start wearing that more consistently.”

It’s been a rough couple of weeks for Hill. He missed three games due to a sore shoulder last week. The ankle, though, is not expected to keep him sidelined for any extended time.

“(Crenshaw is) comfortable we’re headed in the right direction,” Gibson said.