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04/06/11 6:28 PM ET

Drew hopeful for D-backs' home opener

CHICAGO -- Stephen Drew said he is hopeful that he will be back in the lineup for Friday's home opener.

The D-backs shortstop has been bothered by an abdominal strain for a while now and has been limited to one pinch-hit at-bat so far this season. Because his status has been day to day, the D-backs have not put him on the disabled list, which essentially means they've been playing with a short bench.

"You'd prefer to have your full roster," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said. "Stephen is obviously one of our better players. It's limiting, but we've got [other] good players."

Drew has increased his running workload in the last several days.

"I'm hopeful for Friday," he said. "I want to get back in there and get back after it."

Heilman refocuses on familiar role

CHICAGO -- The move back to the bullpen has not been a difficult one for Aaron Heilman.

The D-backs right-hander has long wanted to be a starter, and after five years in the bullpen he was given an opportunity to win a spot in the rotation during Spring Training.

"Bottom line is they gave me an opportunity," said Heilman, who lost out to Armando Galarraga for the final rotation slot. "Unfortunately I didn't throw as well as I would have liked to in spring."

Heilman was disappointed by the move and said so at the time, but then shifted his attention to getting ready for another season in the bullpen.

"The hardest part of relieving is knowing what to expect and how your body responds," Heilman said. "That's not a problem for me. I know what to expect."

Heilman is the only pitcher in Major League Baseball to appear in at least 70 games for the last five seasons.

Worth noting

• D-backs manager Kirk Gibson held a brief meeting with his team prior to Wednesday's 6-4 win over the Cubs to remind them to not press and to continue to play aggressively while having fun.

• Catcher Miguel Montero on his decision to call so many sliders Wednesday against the Cubs: "I kept calling it because they kept swinging at it. Until they make adjustments, I'm going to keep calling it."

• Willie Bloomquist is hitting .348 with five stolen bases this year as he fills in for injured shortstop Stephen Drew.

• Montero and Bloomquist have hit safely in all five games this year.

• The lone D-backs player not to see action this year is backup catcher Henry Blanco. He was scheduled to start Sunday, but the game against the Rockies was postponed due to snow.

• The win over the Cubs snapped the D-backs' eight-game losing streak to the North Siders, dating back to April 30, 2010. They had dropped five straight at Wrigley Field.

Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Inside the D-backs, and follow him on Twitter @dbackswriter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.