Peralta dealing with tightness in neck, back

D-backs outfielder aims to get healthy for NL Wild Card Game

Peralta dealing with tightness in neck, back

KANSAS CITY -- With Wednesday's National League Wild Card Game looming, the D-backs want to get out of this weekend's series with the Royals healthy and firing on all cylinders.

Things didn't exactly go as planned on Saturday night in a 4-3 loss at Kauffman Stadium.

Outfielder David Peralta left the game with tightness in his back and neck in the seventh inning. While Peralta dove for a ball in the previous half inning, the back and neck issue started much earlier in the day.

"I just felt some tightness today around my back and my neck," Peralta said. "We did some stuff before the game and everything was feeling better, but just during the game it was getting stiff so I didn't want to do anything crazy or swing and make it like really bad because the important day is Wednesday."

Peralta and manager Torey Lovullo expect him to be in the starting lineup on Sunday. Lovullo would like to get his starters a few at-bats before taking them out in preparation for Wednesday.

The big key will be how Peralta's back and neck are after a night of sleep.

As for getting key pieces sharp, that didn't really happen as setup man Archie Bradley was touched for a three-run homer in the sixth that proved to be the difference in the game.

"Physically, I feel good," Bradley said. "Obviously not as sharp or as accurate or the command that I've kind of had the whole year. But kind of like with some of these outings throughout the season, this is something that I can overthink and carry into Wednesday. The greatest part about this is this isn't the end of the season for us."

Bradley is expected to play a big role in the D-backs' bullpen during the postseason, possibly pitching multiple innings like Andrew Miller did for the Indians last year. With that in mind, the team has been stretching Bradley out a bit so he gets the feel for pitching an inning, sitting down and then at least starting the next one.

Last time out, Bradley threw 1 2/3 innings, and this time it was 1 1/3. Neither outing was up to the high standards he set throughout the year.

"For me it's just a reminder that I'm not invincible," Bradley said. "Guys can hit pitches, guys are going to hit pitches out of the park, and so with the type of games we're [going to be] playing and the type of situations I'm going to be pitching in, I'm just going to have to make better pitches."

Steve Gilbert has covered the D-backs for since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.