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D-backs start homestand still missing players

The Arizona Diamondbacks returned to Phoenix Sunday night after a series sweep of the Milwaukee Brewers.

For just the third time in franchise history, the D-backs have started 5-1 and they’re finding a way to win while still missing some key pieces to their lineup.

Monday, before game one of a three-game series with the Pittsburgh Pirates, manager Kirk Gibson gave a quick update on his injured players.

Right fielder Cody Ross had a day off Sunday and will hopefully play five innings in the outfield Monday for Visalia in their game against Bakersfield. In three games as the designated hitter, he’s 0-for-8 with a sacrifice fly.

Ross was put on the 15-day-DL with a left calf strain. He suffered the injury in a spring training game back on March 3.

Shortstop Didi Gregorius was supposed to be the designated hitter for Triple-A Reno against Salt Lake City Monday night, but the game was rained out.

“As soon as he can play, he’ll play there,” Gibson said.

Gregorius is still throwing across the diamond and that’s gone “smoothly”, according to Gibson. He’s not scheduled to play defense until April 15th. Gregorius was put on the 15-day DL with a strained right elbow before spring training.

Infielder Willie Bloomquist, who is dealing with a grade-two strain of his right oblique, is slowly making progress.

“Willie’s getting better, but he’s really not swinging the bat or anything yet as far as we know,” Gibson said about the veteran utility man.

Originally, the D-backs said Bloomquist would be out two to four weeks but as each day passes, it looks like the time frame could be longer.

Center fielder Adam Eaton, who is on the shelf with a strained UCL in his right elbow, has two more weeks before the team will perform tests to gauge the rookie’s progress.

“Hopefully it’ll be much better than it was the last time he got those tests done to him,” Gibson said.