HOUSTON -- D-backs manager Kirk Gibson is obviously pleased with his team's results of late.
Following Friday's 7-6 comeback win against the Astros, the D-backs have won 10 of 11 and clawed their way to within 1 1/2 games of first-place San Francisco.
But what really has Gibson smiling these days is the way his team has won games.
After spending all spring working on things like running the bases, reading pitchers better and shutting down an opponent's running game, Gibson is seeing his team begin to execute those things.
In the recently completed four-game series against the Rockies, the D-backs stole nine bases and were caught just once.
"I just like the way we're playing the game, guys are more engaged in understanding who they can be," Gibson said before his team rallied from a 6-0 deficit on Friday. "I just think we're starting to understand more what our strengths are. I believe in trying to pressure people as much as we can."
So despite being over .500 and close to first place, Gibson still sees room for improvement and doesn't want his team to let up on the gas.
"We've got so far to go it's silly," Gibson said. "We were on a bad run, we're on a good run now, and we've just have to stay humble and respect these guys. They're playing pretty darn good, they're a pretty scrappy bunch themselves."
Rested Hernandez comes back strong
HOUSTON -- It seemed like forever to David Hernandez.
The D-backs right-hander allowed a hit, a run and three walks in an ugly outing against the Twins on May 20, nearly costing the D-backs the win.
Given that he had thrown a lot prior to that outing, D-backs manager Kirk Gibson elected to give Hernandez a five-day breather before using him on Thursday night against the Rockies. With closer J.J. Putz unavailable after pitching on consecutive days, Hernandez tossed the final 1 2/3 innings to pick up his first save of the season.
It was an impressive outing as he held the Rockies to just one walk while sealing the 6-3 win.
"Waiting five days was a long, long time," Hernandez said. "I did walk a guy, but for the most part, I was able to throw strikes and attacked guys. It's not easy getting the last three outs [of a game], but it's something that I think all relievers love to do.""[He pitched a] real quick eighth inning, so it was obvious the right thing to do was put him out there in the ninth inning, and he did a good job," Gibson said.
Hernandez said he felt much better after getting the time off.
"I felt like toward the end of the homestand we just came off of, I felt like I was a little tired, my body was a little tired, my arm was a little tired," Hernandez said. "It felt good getting that little extra rest."