PHOENIX -- Entering Monday night's game with the Dodgers, D-backs shortstop Willie Bloomquist had put together multihit games in each of his last four starts. In his previous 27 games this season, the 34-year-old had five such nights total. D-backs manager Kirk Gibson attributes much of the recent success to the amount of extra swings Bloomquist has taken in the cage, sanctioned or not.
"I saw him yesterday going down to the batting cages, he told me only took about 15 swings," Gibson said. "I went back down and he was still in there. He said [outfielder Gerardo] Parra gave him a bat to try. There were 100 balls on the ground. I know he snuck back in there, it's just Willie." When Bloomquist was struggling for much of April and the start of May, Gibson said he may have been trying too hard. He still has the same drive, but now it's working to his advantage. "Willie is the ultimate pro. He's very intense; you can never make him not intense," Gibson said. "He likes to set the tone. He has the game face on and he gets there early. He plays determined. He's taken so many swings to get where he is. He's valuable. He brings a different dimension."