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Collmenter finishes spring on high note

About the only thing bigger than Josh Collmenter’s spring
training ERA had been the amount of speculation on his
spot in manager Kirk Gibson’s starting rotation.

The right-hander, whom Gibson penciled into the third
spot, had struggled throughout his five Cactus League
outings and had an 0-4 record with a robust ERA of 11.18
to show for it.

But Tuesday night, Collmenter settled down, allowing just
one unearned run in three innings of work in the
Diamondbacks’ 5-4 exhibition win over the Milwaukee
Brewers at Chase Field.

“I thought he threw good,” manager Kirk Gibson said. “He
was throwing a lot of strikes and moving the ball well.”

Collmenter threw 48 pitches during his stint, 34 for

“It’s big, but the biggest thing for me was just being
comfortable out there and not worrying about stuff
mechanically or making sure I stay back or do this or do
that,” Collmenter said. “It was just getting out there
and getting that rhythm and tempo back, and now I can have
a baseline going into my bullpen and my next start.”

Part of the comfort level that Collmenter felt had to do
with the setting and the opponent. As a rookie in 2011,
nine of Collmenter’s 10 wins came at Chase Field. He also
had great success against Milwaukee, holding them to just
1 run in 21 innings of work, including a masterful
performance in an 8-1 win over the Brewers in Game 3 of
the NLDS.

So why the success against the Brewers?

“I think they’re just an aggressive club and they swing at
a lot of stuff, so if you can get ahead of them, then you
kind of get them on their toes and they can swing at
pitches that they might not necessarily want to,”
Collmenter said.

Collmenter is scheduled to make his first regular season
start of the season Sunday as the D-backs host San
Francisco at Chase Field.

Arizona Sports’ Kyndra de St. Aubin contributed to this