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Starlin Castro dropped to seventh in batting order

ANAHEIM, Calif. — The longest slump shortstop Starlin Castro can remember having has him batting seventh against the Angels.

Manager Dale Sveum, who admits a lot of the video and cage work with Castro could be getting in his head, told him it’s not a long-term move and isn’t about putting him on notice or suggesting he’ll suddenly be trade bait next month.

“Just a way of hopefully letting him kick back and relax in another spot and see what happens,” Sveum said.

Castro is 10 for his last 61 (.164). His average has sunk from .291 to .258 entering Tuesday night’s game.

“It’s tough because this is long enough,” Castro said. “I’ve never [slumped] longer than this. Good things aren’t happening now, but I know it’s coming.”

Snake venom

Until he heard what Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson said after Saturday’s game, Cubs starter Jeff Samardzija thought his back-and-forth with D-backs third-base coach Matt Williams was just “heat of the moment” stuff and over with.

Gibson told reporters: “He didn’t get the win did he? Maybe he should just shut the f--- up and pitch.”

Samardzija, addressing it Tuesday for the first time, said: “Maybe they just needed a story about something over there. . . . I don’t think it was a big deal. I just thought we were playing the game, and there were a lot of emotions. And they played for a long time, too, and they were successful as players. I figured they’d understand, but I guess not.’’

The D-backs seemed to be upset at some inside pitches from Samardzija to pitcher Ian Kennedy.



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