ST. LOUIS -- The keys to the D-backs' success are clear.

"If you look at the numbers, we have to score three or more to have a chance," Arizona manager Kirk Gibson said. "And if we homer more than once, we're much better. If we don't do those things, numbers-wise it's not been good for us."

When the D-backs score four or more runs they are 55-15. When they score three or less they are just 3-44.

Gibson said he is happy with the energy level and hustle of his team even though it can look listless when it's not scoring runs.

"When you're not hitting, it doesn't seem like you have energy, period," Gibson said.

Saunders' thumb feeling better after comebacker

ST. LOUIS -- D-backs left-hander Joe Saunders said he expects to be able to make his next start after being struck on his pitching hand by a comebacker Wednesday night.

Saunders reached his bare hand out to try and stop a shot back up the middle by Matt Holliday. The ball deflected off his thumb over to second baseman Aaron Hill, who threw Holliday out at first to end the inning.

Despite his hand being numb, Saunders told D-backs manager Kirk Gibson that he was OK to stay in the game.

"He's a hard head," Gibson said.

Saunders retired the first two batters in the sixth before allowing a pair of runs.

"It feels a lot better than last night," Saunders said. "Last night was a little numb when I tried to throw that next inning."

Saunders' next scheduled start is Monday against the Marlins and he is scheduled for his between-start bullpen session Saturday.

"I should be good to go," he said.

Worth noting

• Right-hander Josh Collmenter is scheduled to throw a bullpen session Saturday. Collmenter was placed on the disabled list last week due to ulcers.

• Shortstop Willie Bloomquist is making progress in recovering from a stiff back. Bloomquist was placed on the disabled list over the weekend after struggling with the back problem for 10 days.

The D-backs certainly miss the energy that Bloomquist brings.

"Willie's a spark plug for the team," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said. "He was hitting over .400 with guys in scoring position."

• The D-backs goal throughout the season was to win each three-game series they played in. But with a deficit of 6 1/2 games to make up with seven weeks left to play, that might not be good enough.

"I think most clubs try to win series, but I think where we're at in our schedule and where we're at in the standings we need to win more than series," Gibson said. "At some point we'd like to see more wins than just series wins."