CINCINNATI -- D-backs second baseman Aaron Hill has been red-hot for the better part of a month now, something he attributes to finally being able to get into a rhythm at the plate.
Hill started off the season fine, but less than two weeks after Opening Day, he was hit on the left hand by a pitch from the Pirates' James McDonald. He tried to play through the injury but was finally diagnosed with a broken bone, and he spent more than two months on the disabled list.
"I think it's tough for anybody to come back after missing that amount of time and get into a rhythm," Hill said. "Baseball is all about getting into a rhythm and finding what works. Every year is going to be different, so you've got to just find what's going to make you comfortable in the box and just keep going with it."
It took Hill a while to find that comfort zone, and his average dipped to a low of .262 on July 24.
"No doubt it was a tough task for him," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said. "He's got his legs back, he feels much better, swinging much better, too."
Since that time, Hill has hit .395 with five homers and 18 RBIs to bring his season average to .316 heading into Wednesday night's game.
The fracture is nonunion, which means the bone has not fully healed together. Surgery is an option, but given that he has not felt any discomfort with the hand as long as he stays on top of his exercises and treatment, Hill might forgo having surgery on it during the offseason.
"I talked to [Dr. Don] Sheridan about it two weeks ago, just briefly, and we both said we'd just talk about it later," Hill said referring to the team's hand specialist. "It's up to me at the end of the day, but we'll worry about that later. We'll cross that bridge later."
Goldschmidt shrugs off reaching 100-RBI mark
CINCINNATI -- After hitting a grand slam that proved to be the game-winner Tuesday night, D-backs first baseman Paul Goldschmidt was asked if he knew how many RBIs he had on the season.
"I knew I had 90-something," Goldschmidt said. "I still couldn't tell you what it was."
The grand slam gave him 100, he was told.
"They said congrats on 100 so I knew it was either that or at least 100," Goldschmidt said. "I don't know."
Goldschmidt does not pay attention to his numbers, preferring to focus on process rather than results. So driving in 100 runs was not something he set as a goal before the season.
"My goal, like we've talked about all year, is just showing up and trying to have good at-bats, work hard, prepare," he said. "You know the stuff I can control. You know RBIs are out of your control. I mean, out there I could hit the same pitch, same swing and it's a line drive to shortstop, double play."
It is a humble, focused approach that Goldschmidt's teammates have come to expect and appreciate.
"That's just Goldy," D-backs left-hander Patrick Corbin said.
• The first two days of the series with the Reds, the D-backs held back the pitcher scheduled to throw his side session that day just in case he was needed out of the bullpen.
But after needing just two innings from the bullpen Monday and none during Patrick Corbin's complete game Tuesday, the bullpen is back to full strength.
"We're fully rested," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said. "So it's good. We could have gotten in some trouble if we had come in here and had to use a lot of guys."
• While he was on the disabled list with a right-hip contusion, D-backs right-hander Trevor Cahill made some tweaks to his mechanics.
In his first start back last weekend against the Pirates, the early returns were mixed. Cahill did a better job of staying on top of the ball in the first couple of innings, but then once again fell into some bad habits.
"I don't think he threw the ball that bad," Gibson said. "I know you guys thought, 'oh, he was just like he was before.' I think it's way too early to say that. It's not easy coming back and doing that."
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.