05/14/2013 10:16 PM ET
Parra shares laugh with Upton during return
By Steve Gilbert / MLB.com
PHOENIX -- When D-backs outfielder Gerardo Parra saw Braves outfielder Justin Upton on the field during batting practice Monday, he warned his former teammate not to try and challenge his arm during the game.
The two laughed about the challenge.
Then in the seventh inning, Upton was on second when there was a fly ball to medium right field. Parra caught the ball and when he fired the ball to third base, he nearly hit Upton, who was standing on second base.
Upton looked out towards Parra with a big smile and the two friends shared a quick moment.
"That's my buddy," Parra said. "That's my brother. Good guy, good person, good player."
Parra asked if it was strange seeing Upton wearing an Atlanta uniform for the first time.
"It's different to see him wearing that uniform," Parra said. "But it's the same guy, the same good man."
Johnson's big game vs. D-backs bittersweet
PHOENIX -- The inclusion of Chris Johnson in the trade that sent Justin Upton to Atlanta got scant attention at the time.
Even though Johnson was off to a hot start this season, it was Upton's home run binge that drew the spotlight.
In Monday's series opener, though, it was hard to ignore Johnson as he went 3-for-4 with a double and a two-run homer off Arizona starter Wade Miley.
"It felt good," Johnson said. "It's tough a little bit too because I've got some friends over there and some guys that I really enjoy playing with, Wade being one of them, but it's all part of the game."
Johnson was acquired by the D-backs just prior to last July's Trading Deadline so he didn't spend much time in a D-backs uniform, but he still had a little extra motivation coming into the series.
"This is the team that traded me," Johnson said. "I think for every player there's that little bit of sense of them not obviously not wanting you if they traded you. But I know it was a move to make their team better."
• Shortstop Willie Bloomquist, who tore his right oblique muscle during Spring Training, will begin playing in extended spring training games Thursday.
After he plays there for a day or two, the D-backs will determine the Minor League affiliate and length of time for his rehab assignment.
"He's been out since the beginning of the season so he needs to play some baseball, definitely," manager Kirk Gibson said. "To get up to speed, No. 1, and the other part is just to make sure he's healthy to play some sustained games."
• There's still no timetable for second baseman Aaron Hill. A CT scan taken Monday of his fractured left hand showed there was more healing that needed to take place before he could take the brace off his hand.
"It's just not healing enough to move him onto the next step," Gibson said. "We had hoped he was ready, but he's not."
• Outfielder Adam Eaton, who is recovering from an elbow injury, has increased his throwing distance to 135 feet.
Eaton, who has been strictly serving as the designated hitter during his Minor League rehab assignment, is slated to play in the field for the first time Friday.
Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Inside the D-backs, and follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.