HOUSTON -- On Thursday, shortstop Jake Elmore made his first Major League start after John McDonald was scratched with a sore elbow.
Elmore earned another start on Friday, but once again, the lineup wasn't quite final yet. When left fielder Jason Kubel was scratched with a stiff neck, Elmore moved from seventh to second in the lineup.
Manager Kirk Gibson said he likes how Elmore can get the bat on the ball, creating potential hit-and-run plays at the top of the lineup.
"[Triple-A manager Brett Butler] told me Elmore was the best No. 2 hitter he's ever had," Gibson said.
Stephen Drew, batting .206 heading into Friday's game, didn't start for the second straight night after starting in 11 of the D-backs' first 13 games in August.
McDonald's status is still questionable.
"He's not a spring chicken," Gibson said of McDonald. "Sometimes when you get older, things do pop up like that from time and time and resolve themselves quickly. We'll know more about it today, tomorrow and the next day."
On Thursday, Gibson told Elmore he was starting just a few moments before the game. The manager laughed about how the 25-year-old reacted.
"He looked at me and then reached out and re-tied his shoes," Gibson said. "I guess you tie them looser if you're not playing."
Elmore, who came up from Triple-A Reno on Aug. 11, went 2-for-4 with a double in Thursday's game.