Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 6/23/12

Arizona Diamondbacks right-hander Josh Collmenter did not know how special the national anthem would be Friday. That was when he found out he was to start against the Chicago Cubs, about 15 minutes before game time.

Scheduled starter Joe Saunders suffered tightness in his left shoulder when he attempted to warm up in the bullpen, so D-backs pitching coach Charlie Nagy turned to Collmenter, who had pitched one inning since June 8 and had not started since April 24, when a series of bad outings put him in the bullpen.

Collmenter gave up a Geovany Soto solo home run in four innings and made pitches when he had to in the D-backs' 6-1 victory. His best work came when he got out of a bases-loaded, one-out situation in the second inning with two of his six strikeouts. Collmenter gave up three hits and walked three, using 85 pitches.

"He toughed it out," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said.

Collmenter, 0-2 with a 5.27 ERA, said he could tell something was amiss as Saunders attempted to warm up, so he made sure to get stretched.

"After the anthem, I tried to get loose as quick as possible," Collmenter said. "You get the adrenaline going when you have to get ready so quick, but at the same time, you have to make sure you calm down and make the pitches you need to. I felt really confident going in that I knew how to get loose and get ready and attack the hitters.

"Wasn't as sharp as I wanted to be, but when it was all said and done, it worked out."

Saunders, 4-5 with a 3.44 ERA, said he felt no pain while warming up but did feel tightness, calling it a "weird, fluke thing. Maybe I slept on it wrong." The training staff found no structural damage, Saunders said, but he expects to be evaluated again Saturday.

Gibson was not prepared to speculate about Saunders' availability for his next scheduled start, Thursday in Atlanta.

"I have no clue about that right now," Gibson said.

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