LOS ANGELES - Although it has been almost impossible to tell, Eric Byrnes said he has been bothered by tender hamstrings since spring training, the reason he was held out of the starting lineup for the first time Thursday.
“It’s both legs, one back to the other,” manager Bob Melvin said.
“It’s one of the reasons he hasn’t run as much. It’s inhibiting a little bit, but not to the point he can’t play. Hopefully, he gets better with rest and treatment.”
Byrnes has not seemed restricted — he is hitting .287 with nine doubles (tied for fourth in the league), three home runs, 14 RBIs and three stolen bases.
He had a 14-game hitting streak stopped Sunday but has since hit safely in three in a row.
“I know I haven’t had my legs under me yet,” said Byrnes, the 11th player in major league history with at least 20 homers, and 50 stolen bases in a season when he had 21 and 50 last year.
“If I can play at the level I’m playing at now, that’s good enough. Can I play better? Yeah.
“It’s not something that is going to go away. It’s learning to play with pain. It hurts. Oh, well.”
Byrnes has spent extra pregame time with trainer Ken Crenshaw in an attempt to stay as healthy as he can, and said even extended time off is no guarantee that his leg issues would clear up.
Byrnes wore a Pat’s Run stocking cap Wednesday to Dodger Stadium and is a strong supporter of the Pat Tillman Foundation, but he said his injuries prevented him from participating in Pat’s Run on Saturday in Tempe.
“It disappointed me not to run in it. Physically, I couldn’t do it from a Diamondbacks’ standpoint,” Byrnes said.
“If I wanted to play that night, I couldn’t run in it.”
Cox Communications will carry the D-Backs’ game against San Diego tonight on its local cable channel, Channel 7, beginning at 7 p.m.
Fox Sports Net Arizona is televising the Suns’ playoff game against San Antonio on its network, but is providing a special feed for the baseball game to cable providers across the state.
The game will be shown on DirecTV Channel 669, Dish Network’s Channel 451, Mediacom in Apache Junction on Channel 70 and Orbitel Communications in Maricopa on Channel 6.
Randy Johnson’s MRI Wednesday was clean, Melvin said. “It’s the same as his last one,” he said. Johnson will make his third start of the season tonight.
Micah Owings and Robby Hammock found a way to get some pregame exercise — they flew a kite in the Dodger Stadium outfield four hours before game. The kite was given to them by a luncheon guest.
“Just to mess around,” Owings said. “I still got my running in.”
Dan Haren, kidded in the clubhouse as his beard grew out the last week or so, trimmed most of his facial hair Thursday after his first loss of the season Wednesday.
“Two reasons — my wife, the most important reason, and I didn’t have a great game,” Haren said. “I knew it didn’t look good. It’ll be back.”
The six runs the Dodgers scored off Haren in an 8-3 victory were the most by an opponent since the Angels got six on Sept. 24, 2006, a span of 40 starts. Since the start of 2007, Haren has made 33 starts in which he has given up three runs or fewer, tied with Jake Peavy for the major league high.