5/30/2013 7:28 P.M. ET
Bell surprised by good numbers against AL
By Christian Corona / Special to MLB.com
ARLINGTON -- It's been nearly four years since Heath Bell took the loss for the National League in the 2009 All-Star Game, but he still remembers it, which makes it hard for him to believe that he's been so effective against American League foes during the regular season.
"I don't have good numbers in the All-Star Game, so that's very surprising to me," Bell said. "I didn't know that. I know American League hitters crush the ball. Maybe I need to be on my 'A' game… I never thought I'd have good numbers in Interleague Play."
Bell, who is 5-1 with a 2.73 ERA with 16 saves in 49 career Interleague games, has not allowed an earned run in his last 17 Interleague appearances. That is tied for the second-longest such streak in the Majors, behind only the Braves' Craig Kimbrel. Bell has tossed 2 2/3 scoreless innings during Interleague Play this season.
"I like Interleague Play a lot," Bell said. "I like going to different cities and different teams, because you meet some guys at the All-Star Game, or you meet some guys around the league, and then you don't get to see them."
Bell has posted a 3.92 ERA this year in 22 outings entering Thursday, converting nine of 11 save opportunities while taking over as the team's closer with J.J. Putz on the disabled list with a strained right elbow since May 8.
"J.J. is a good friend of mine, and you never like to see a guy get hurt like that," Bell said. "I talked to him a few days ago, and he said he should be back in roughly 10 days. I'm just trying to help out until J.J. comes back, and when he comes back, he's going to start closing. Then I'll go back to filling in different roles."
Chavez leaves game with strained oblique
ARLINGTON -- Third baseman Eric Chavez underwent an MRI after leaving Thursday's game against the Rangers with a strained right oblique and could be placed on the disabled list soon.
Chavez swung and missed at the first two pitches he saw from Rangers right-hander Justin Grimm in the first inning, then took his helmet off and walking into the dugout after the second whiff. Cliff Pennington replaced Chavez with the count at 0-2, working it full and grounding out to shortstop to end the inning.
"Not a very good way to start out, very first inning and he goes down," manager Kirk Gibson said. "He did something on the first swing and said he was OK, but on the second swing, there was something going on there."
Pennington remained in the game, at second base, and went 2-for-5 with a run, while Martin Prado moved from second to third. Prado was making his 30th start of the year at second before moving to third, where he has played 21 games this year.
Pennington last played on Monday, when he went 2-for-4 and delivered a walk-off RBI single in the ninth inning of the second game of a doubleheader. He was batting .203 with one home run and 10 RBIs in 41 games before entering the game. Chavez is batting a team-best .325 with seven home runs and 25 RBIs in 37 games. He's hit .394 with three homers and 17 RBIs in his last 20 games.
Gibson wouldn't mind scheduled doubleheaders
ARLINGTON -- The D-backs are in the midst of an unusual part of their schedule, coming off a doubleheader on Monday at home against the Rangers and a rainout in Arlington on Wednesday after an off-day on Tuesday.
But manager Kirk Gibson said he wouldn't mind scheduling another doubleheader next season. The D-backs swept the twin bill on Monday, winning the two games, 5-3 and 5-4. They had two more games scheduled in Texas before the postponement.
"I wouldn't be against it," Gibson said. "We did two there, off-day to travel, and then two here. It's not bad. And you get the extra guy [which is a new rule in doubleheaders this season]. If you look at it the way it worked out for our staff, it gave everybody an extra day of rest, except [Brandon] McCarthy. If you look at it, how guys throw with an extra day, there's an advantage to it. Maybe the next start isn't quite as good, but I think it has a cumulative effect over the season."
The D-backs' pair of wins on Monday marked the second straight season they swept a scheduled doubleheader. They also took two from the Marlins, 3-2 and 3-0, on Aug. 22, 2012.
Bloomquist could play multiple spots upon return
ARLINGTON -- Willie Bloomquist, who has been on the disabled list all season with a strained right intercostal, could return to the D-backs at either shortstop or second base.
Bloomquist played 64 of his 80 games last year with the D-backs at shortstop, starting another 11 at second base. He will play the fifth game of his rehab assignment with Triple-A Reno on Thursday night. Bloomquist is hitting .467 with eight RBIs during his Minor League stint.
"He could play anywhere," manager Kirk Gibson said. "Where do we need him? Who's hurt? Who's not hurt? Who needs a day off? I just want him to have the opportunity to be able to move around, play short, second or left field."
Rookie Didi Gregorious, who was called up from Reno when Aaron Hill was placed on the DL last month, has served as the team's everyday shortstop. He's hitting .328 with four home runs and 11 RBIs.
Pitching staff gets another day off
ARLINGTON -- It's not often that a team gets consecutive days off in May, but between the travel day the D-backs used to fly to Texas on Tuesday and Wednesday's rainout, their starting pitchers got yet another day of rest.
Brandon McCarthy was set to pitch Wednesday's series opener against the Rangers, but he started on Thursday. He allowed six runs in 2 2/3 innings, his shortest outing of the season, in a 9-5 loss to Texas.
Everyone else in the rotation was pushed back a day, including Trevor Cahill, who was scheduled to start Sunday against the Cubs but will now pitch Monday against the Cardinals.
"I guess it couldn't hurt," Cahill said. "Sometimes it's hard to stay sharp if you haven't been on the mound for a while. I think we're deep enough into the season where we'll take the rest."
Cahill, like many of his fellow starting pitchers, will get a week between starts. He gave up four runs, three earned, on seven hits over eight innings in a 5-4 win over the Rangers on Monday.
"I'm not worried about them, but you want them to pitch," manager Kirk Gibson said. "We planned on them getting a day already, so they don't need to get an extra one."
• Thursday's game against the Rangers marked the first of 14 road games for the D-backs over their next 17 contests. And 24 of their next 31 games are on the road.
"It's just that part of the year," Gibson said. "It has been [a tough stretch]. We come home for four days and then we head out. We're going to be home for three days and then go back out. We've got a tough schedule this year."
• Paul Goldschmidt has hit safely in his last eight Interleague games, and had a four-hit day on Thursday. He has hit seven home runs this month, tied for his career high, and 23 RBIs, the most in a month during his career.
Christian Corona is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.