5/31/2013 6:50 P.M. ET
Montero back in cleanup spot, notches two hits
By Steve Gilbert / MLB.com
CHICAGO -- Miguel Montero hit fourth Friday for the first time since May 7 as D-backs manager Kirk Gibson continued to try to find a way to get his slumping catcher going.
Montero, who went 2-for-4 with an RBI double in a 7-2 loss to the Cubs, has shown some positive signs at the plate lately.
Since bottoming out at .180 on May 7, Montero had been 7-for-28 entering Friday. That's just a .250 mark, but with as tough as his start has been, any progress is helpful.
With third baseman Eric Chavez joining slugger Aaron Hill on the disabled list, Arizona is desperate for some production in the cleanup spot.
"At some point, he has to perform," Gibson said of Montero. "The team needs him. He hit for us there last year. He's capable of doing it. He's going to have the opportunity to do that today with Chavy out. We've got to get somebody going. Somebody's got to hit behind [Paul Goldschmidt]. Somebody's got to take responsibility. He's done a great job for us, so there's no reason he can't today."
Gibson said Montero's swing during games has gotten a little long, which could be the cause of his struggles.
"His [batting practice] is good," Gibson said. "He's nice and short in BP, and he gets a little big in the game. He's just got to take his pregame work into the game. It's a tough game. It's a game of cycles. I know it looks easy from where you guys sit and where I sit, but it's not. There's just no guarantees. You can do everything right and not work out."
D-backs place Chavez on DL, activate Bloomquist
CHICAGO -- The D-backs activated utility man Willie Bloomquist off the disabled list Friday and placed third baseman Eric Chavez on the DL.
Chavez suffered a strained right oblique during his first-inning at-bat Thursday. An MRI was scheduled for Friday to determine the severity of the strain.
Bloomquist had been on the DL all year after suffering a Grade 2 strain of his right oblique muscle towards the end of Spring Training.
Bloomquist had been on an injury-rehabilitation assignment first at extended spring camp and then at Triple-A Reno, where he hit .467 in 16 plate appearances.
"Obviously, I had to play a little bit to try to find some timing and see some pitching a little bit, but I feel pretty good," Bloomquist said.
More important than his numbers for Bloomquist was being able to swing the bat and play the field without worrying about reinjuring the muscle.
"Up until a couple of weeks ago, I was still feeling it when I swung in a game, so the last thing I want to do is start over at square one with it," he said. "And the last week or 10 days or so, I haven't felt it in a game, and each game that goes by, [I] get more and more confident with it and don't worry about it at all. The past four or five games, I haven't even given it a second thought, so that's where I need to be."
While the timetable for Bloomquist's return might have been moved up by Chavez's injury, D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said they would not have brought him back if there were any concerns.
In fact, Gibson had planned on putting Bloomquist in the lineup Friday, but Bloomquist's flight from Las Vegas -- where Reno was playing -- was delayed and did not arrive in Chicago until around 4 a.m. CT.
"I'll use him off the bench if I have to, but we'll give him a day to get acclimated to what's going on," Gibson said.
Pollock gets first look at Wrigley as a player
CHICAGO -- While in junior high school, D-backs outfielder A.J. Pollock and a friend visited Wrigley Field during a trip to various Major League parks.
On Friday, Pollock got to see the ballpark from a player's perspective for the first time.
"It looked a lot bigger when I was watching from the stands," Pollock said. "This was probably my favorite one just because of how historic it was and I've always been into history. It's just neat, has a good feel for it."
Pollock planned to spend some time during batting practice checking out the outfield wall, which unlike others around the game does not have any padding. Instead, there is just ivy covering a brick wall.
"I'll have to go out there and test it a little bit, because I have a feeling that's going to be different than any field we've ever played on," Pollock said. "Especially if you do something wrong, it will probably punish you a little bit."
• Right-hander Ian Kennedy threw Friday without his index finger being wrapped and said it felt fine, and he expects to be able to make his Saturday start without an issue.
Kennedy cut himself this past week while doing dishes and the team scratched him from his scheduled start Monday.
• The umpiring crew for Friday's game was working on very little sleep. Crew chief Joe West, Rob Drake, David Rackley and Andy Fletcher worked Thursday's game between the Royals and Cardinals.
Because of a rain delay, the game didn't end until around 3:15 a.m. CT, and the crew hopped in a car to drive from St. Louis to Chicago right after.
D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said he was not concerned that the lack of rest would affect the crew.
"They'll deal with it," he said. "It's not the first time."
• First baseman Kila Ka'aihue hit his 16th homer of the year for Triple-A Reno on Thursday.
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.