Qualls showing improvement on mound

Qualls showing improvement on mound

PHOENIX -- D-backs manager A.J. Hinch hoped to avoid employing Chad Qualls on Sunday afternoon in Arizona's series finale with the visiting Toronto Blue Jays. Not because of Qualls' lack of success, precisely the opposite.

Entering Sunday, Qualls had pitched in four straight games, all D-backs victories.

"Five days in a row is five days in a row," Hinch said with a sigh.

Qualls hasn't allowed a run in nine of his past 12 appearances and has converted eight of his last nine save chances, most recently shutting down the Jays in the D-backs' 8-5 victory Saturday night.

"He's pitching in the strike zone a lot better. He's been a little more aggressive," Hinch said of his closer's improvement. "These late-inning relievers, they can get on a roll. Often times, it takes one blown save or one bad outing to cause some insecurity and about three or four to get back. He's pretty good about having a short memory."