D-backs notebook: Bloomquist grinds it out
Willie Bloomquist calls hitting "a battle every day."
These days, he is winning.
Bloomquist has hit safely in 17 of his last 19 games after doubling in the ninth inning of Texas' 9-1 victory Tuesday that stopped the Diamondbacks' winning streak at five games. More impressive than the consistency is the volume. Bloomquist has 12 multi-hit games over the same stretch, raising his batting average from .212 to .297.
"You like to think you're trying to find things and figure it out a little, but every day is always a constant grind," he said. "You never have it figured out. That's one thing in this game. You are facing somebody new every day. They have different challenges they are going to bring you and different ways they are going to pitch. You have to have your swing feeling good to go up against them.
"You are never there, as much as you think you are starting to get it right. There is always room for improvement. There is always a new challenge. So you take it day by day and take each day as a new challenge."
Bloomquist has been the D-backs' regular shortstop this season, continuing the role he assumed after Stephen Drew suffered a season-ending right ankle injury on July 20, 2011. The D-backs were 47-27 in games Bloomquist and late-August acquisition John McDonald started at short last season, and the two have done the job this season while Drew enters what appears to be the final stage of his recovery.
A table-setter, Bloomquist bats either first or second in the lineup. In his last 19 games, he is hitting .395 (34 for 86) with four doubles, two triples and 15 runs. He has 11 doubles this year, already surpassing his total from 97 games last year. He still continues to strive.
"It's an ongoing process, with me working tirelessly trying to get it to where I feel like I can do something when I am in the box to help our team win. For me, it's constant, a constant battle. I'm just having a little bit more luck. Hopefully I'll continue to find holes and figure out ways to get on base," Bloomquist said.
--1B Paul Goldschmidt was 0-for-3 against Texas RHP Colby Lewis on Tuesday, snapping his career-high 17-game hitting streak. Goldcshmidt struck out and lined out to left field in his first at-bats before sending Rangers LF Josh Hamilton to the wall for his long fly ball in the eighth. Goldschmidt is hitting an even .400 with nine doubles and six homers in his last 18 games.
--RHP Ian Kennedy cruised through 5 2/3 innings before giving five runs on six hits with two outs in the last of the sixth inning of a loss to Texas on Tuesday, pitching two days after his wife delivered their second child late Sunday afternoon. Kennedy, who arrived in Dallas on Tuesday morning, had given up only four hits while trailing 1-0 before the Rangers erupted in the sixth. Kennedy had given up one run in his previous two starts combined. He threw a three-hit shutout the day after his first child was born in April 2011, striking out 10 in a 4-0 victory over Philadelphia, spending the previous night in his wife's hospital room.
--DH Jason Kubel went 0 for 4 in the cleanup spot Tuesday, the first of the D-backs' six consecutive interleague games on a road trip that has stops at Texas and the Los Angeles Angels. Kubel, who leads the D-backs with 36 RBI, was used as a DH in 321 games during his seven years with Minnesota. The move keeps Kubel's bat in the lineup and also enables the D-backs to play Gold Glove OF Gerardo Parra in the field. The D-backs may use Kubel at DH most of the week, although manager Kirk Gibson would not commit Tuesday. Wily Mo Pena served as the DH in all nine of the D-backs' interleague road games last year.
--C Miguel Montero's last two hits have been home runs. His solo shot in the eighth inning provided the D-backs' only run Tuesday, and his grand slam capped a five-run fifth inning in the D-backs' 8-3 victory against Oakland on Saturday night. He didn't play Sunday, and the D-backs were idle Monday, so Montero had two consecutive days off, a breather manager Kirk Gibson likes to give his starters on occasion.
--RHP Charles Brewer, who was ejected in the bottom of the third inning of his Sunday start for Class AAA Reno for having a "foreign substance" on his left forearm, was suspended 10 games by the Pacific Coast League on Tuesday. Brewer threw 54 pitches before being ejected by plate umpire Jordan Baker after a 1-2 pitch to Tucson OF Cody Decker. Brewer, 24, is 3-4 with a 5.50 ERA in 10 starts for Reno this season.
BY THE NUMBERS: 7 -- Consecutive games with a hit for 2B Aaron Hill, who broke up Texas RHP Colby Lewis' perfect game with a line single to left field with one out in the sixth inning Tuesday.