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Ankle feeling better, Hill returns to starting lineup

Second baseman fouled ball off left ankle Sunday, pinch-hit Monday

PHOENIX -- Second baseman Aaron Hill was back in the lineup for Tuesday night's game against the Padres at Chase Field.

The fourth-year D-backs second baseman missed most of Monday's 7-5 win over San Diego after he fouled a ball off his left ankle in the second game of a doubleheader Sunday against the Mets at Citi Field.

Manager Kirk Gibson said Hill was back to full health. Hill was cleared to play Monday, but Gibson elected to give him an extra day of rest.

"He's fine," Gibson said. "He's good to go. We gave him an extra day, and I think he feels good today."

Even though Gibson said before Monday's game that hitting was bothering Hill, he came in as a pinch-hitter against Padres reliever Dale Thayer in the seventh inning Monday.

Hill came into the at-bat 4-for-6 against the right-hander. Gibson hoped Hill would continue that success, but he flied out to center field before coming out for a defensive replacement in the eighth.

Hill missed three games from May 17-20 with a shoulder injury.

He has had some success against Eric Stults, Tuesday's Padres starting pitcher. In 11 previous at-bats, he had only two hits -- both doubles --- and had driven in a pair of runs. In three games against the Padres, he is 3-for-11. For the season, Hill was hitting .255 with four home runs and 23 RBIs in 49 games entering Tuesday.

"This is a guy who just brings a lot of confidence to the pitcher," third baseman Martin Prado said. "Defensively, offensively, it's always good to have him back."

Adam Lichtenstein is an associate reporter for
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