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Diamondbacks: Kirk Gibson Optimistic Josh Collmenter Can "Bounce Back" From Tough Stretch

Diamondbacks starting pitcher Josh Collmenter struggled for the second consecutive start, giving up eight hits and six earned runs in just 2.1 innings pitched against the Dodgers on Friday night in Phoenix.

"I wasn't as fine with my pitches as I needed to be," Collmenter said after the game. "They were just way too comfortable in the box, and that's my responsibility to make sure that they're off balance."

Last week, Collmenter gave up five runs in 3.2 innings against the Dodgers in Los Angeles.

Whether this is a product of the Dodgers' scouting team or a regression of Collmenter's performance remains to be seen, but D-backs manager Kirk Gibson thinks that the issues his young righthander faces can be fixed.

 "That ball wasn't coming out of his hand like I think it has in the past, and they hit too many ground balls," Gibson said in the postgame press conference. "They were pounding it. Gotta hit your spots. He's gotta be better than that."

When asked about whether his rookie starter can regain his early season form, Gibson appeared optimistic.

"He can bounce back," Gibson said, noting that many pitchers have tough stretches during various points of their career. "He's had two [starts] where he hasn't been very good, but we'll try to get him back on track and evaluate what's best for the team."

For now, it appears as though Collmenter will hold onto his spot as the fifth starter for the Diamondbacks, but another rough outing could catapult Micah Owings back into the rotation.

For more on the Diamondbacks, check out AZ Snake Pit.