KANSAS CITY -- D-backs shortstop Willie Bloomquist was hitting .212 prior to this seven-game road trip and has since gone on a mini hot streak -- raising his average to .260 entering Sunday's series finale against the Royals.
Bloomquist had just three hits in May prior to the swing through Los Angeles, Colorado and Kansas City, but since the team hit the road, Bloomquist is 11-for-24 with a walk and three RBIs. He's scored four runs.
Bloomquist denies that it's really a hot streak, but he does acknowledge that his performance is picking up.
"It's just more doing what I'm capable of doing," Bloomquist said. "I've been downright awful to start the year, so I'm just trying to get back to things that make me successful. That's hitting the ball on the ground, just staying back and trying to get better pitches to hit. It's finding some holes. I'm definitely not there yet, but it's a good start."
Manager Kirk Gibson said earlier in the weekend that Bloomquist's baserunning has been a spark to the team, even if he gets caught stealing. Bloomquist does have a stolen base on the road trip, and he's been caught stealing twice.
"That's what I have to do to make me successful and this team successful, to find ways to get on base and create things that help our team win," Bloomquist said. "And in roundabout ways, I try to get our hitters better pitches to hit because, hopefully they're paying attention to me on the basepaths. That's what I'm trying to do."
Bloomquist wasn't in the starting lineup on Sunday, but his effect on the team during the trip has been a good one. The D-backs are 3-2 in the five games he's played.
Gibson said that Bloomquist doesn't take days off very well, but he knows it's something he needs to do.
"He understands. He gets it," Gibson said. "At first, when I used to do it he didn't like it. He thinks he needs to play everyday, but I know it's not good for him. You're asking for him to get injured and also he's not going to be as effective. He doesn't have as much life in his legs and it takes a lot out of his game."
Young easing back into D-backs' lineup
KANSAS CITY -- Interleague Play is providing D-backs manager Kirk Gibson with an opportunity to ease outfielder Chris Young back into the swing of things.
Young injured his shoulder in April and came off a month-long stay on the disabled list for the Interleague opener against the Royals on Friday. He served as the designated hitter in Friday's game, and played center field on Saturday. On Sunday, Young was back in the DH role and went 0-for-4 in the D-backs' 2-0 win.
"It kind of worked out because we have the DH here. Because he's been playing the outfield in the Minor Leagues, he's coming along fine," Gibson said.
Gibson said that not overworking Young is extremely important.
"This is the right thing to do for sure, smart thing to do," Gibson said. "I want to make sure I don't overdo him. That's the tendency, push them too fast, too far and then we end up having a setback. I don't want to do that."
In his first two games back, Young went 2-for-8 with a two-run double in Friday's 6-4 win.
Paul Goldschmidt's three-hit night on Saturday matched a career high. It was the fifth time he's picked up three hits in one game.
Entering play on Sunday, D-backs relievers Craig Breslow and Brad Ziegler were tied for the most Interleague relief appearances since 2010 with 19 apiece.
Vinnie Duber is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.