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."