By Greg Dillard
In each game Willie Bloomquist has played in this season, he has collected at least one hit.
With a single in Friday’s contest against the Giants, Bloomquist extended his season-starting hitting streak to 10 games. It is currently the fourth-longest streak in the Major Leagues and sits in a tie for the franchise’s longest season-opening hitting streak. Steve Finley hit in 10 straight to open the season in 2000, and Danny Bautista opened with a hit in 10 straight in 2002.
In addition to collecting 16 hits, Bloomquist has swiped seven bases, driven in seven and smacked three doubles while playing both shortstop and left field.
“He’s played well,” Gibson said. “He keeps grinding. He adds something to our lineup.”
Blum making progress in extended spring
D-backs infielder Geoff Blum is continuing to make advancements in his return to the active roster.
Blum, who was signed by the D-backs in the offseason, was placed on the 15-day disabled list in March. He has battled right knee inflammation dating back to Spring Training.
“It’s been going decently,” manager Kirk Gibson said. “A little bit of soreness today. He got a couple hits the first day. I think he’s got 10 at-bats in the two days.”
Blum has been playing in extended Spring Training at the D-backs spring complex Salt River Fields. He has been limited to DH, but is expected to play third base in the coming days.
In non-game situations, Blum has been able to field ground balls, hit and do some light running. Although Blum continues to make progress, there is no definite timetable for his return.
“It’s possible by the end of next week he could go somewhere and start a rehab,” Gibson said.
Once he returns to the big league club, Blum figures to play an integral role off the D-backs’ bench. In his 12 year career, Blum has posted a .251 batting average with 468 RBI as primarily a role player.
Vasquez lights out in return to Major Leagues
Since being recalled from Triple-A Reno, relief pitcher Esmerling Vasquez has looked good the D-backs.
In two appearances, Vasquez has thrown 3 1/3 shutout innings. During that time, he’s struck out two and without walking a batter, while allowing only two hits.
“He’s throwing the ball good since he’s been here,” Gibson said. “He’s throwing strikes. The breaking ball is as good or better than it was at the end of Spring. His velocity has been up to 92 to 96.”
Gibson neutral in Coyotes/ Red Wings series
Gibson is among the many fans following the opening round of the Stanley Cup playoffs. With a win on Saturday, the Red Wings hold a 2-0 series lead as the series shifts to Glendale.
The former Detroit Tiger used to have Red Wings season tickets, but gave them up when he moved to Arizona.
Despite his former interest in the Red Wings, the skipper won’t take sides in this playoff series.
“I don’t think I can lose either way,” Gibson said. “I’m pretty neutral on it to be honest with you.”