SAN DIEGO -- Gerardo Parra was in the D-backs lineup for the fourth straight game Sunday and if you're manager Kirk Gibson it's hard to justify taking him out of it right now.
It's not that Parra is tearing it up at the plate -- he was 1-for-11 in Wednesday, Friday and Saturday's games -- it's that regardless of whether he's delivering hits, he's finding ways to have a positive impact on the game.
"He's a very good player beyond what he does at the plate," Gibson said. "He's just aggressive, he brings energy."
Take Saturday's game for example. Parra showed his cannon of an arm from right field by throwing one runner out at third and throwing a strike to cutoff man Aaron Hill to nail another at third.
On the bases, Parra's bluff down the third-base line caused Padres reliever Alex Hinshaw to balk and Parra trotted home with an important run.
At the plate he also drew a bases-loaded walk to force home a run.
"That's what I'm trying to do, be ready for anything," Parra said. "If I don't get a hit maybe I can do something on defense, maybe on the bases."
Parra won a Gold Glove last year and had the best offensive season of his young career, but he was relegated to a fourth-outfielder role when the club signed Jason Kubel.
An injury to center fielder Chris Young allowed Parra to get more playing time than expected and it wouldn't be a surprise for Gibson to continue to try to find ways to get him in there. Meanwhile Parra continues to work at sharpening every aspect of his game with hitting coach Don Baylor and outfield coach Eric Young.
"When you're working hard every day you feel confident," Parra said. "I just keep working. E.Y. has a good program for the outfielders. We are working every day."
Bell working hard on footwork at third base
SAN DIEGO -- D-backs third baseman Josh Bell continues to work early with former Gold Glover Matt Williams on his footwork at third base.
Williams, the D-backs third-base coach, won four Gold Gloves during his playing career.
"He's done it so when a guy like that talks you listen," Bell said.
One of the things Williams preaches is that you field with your feet and not your hands, meaning that if you have proper footwork, the hands will follow.
"I believe it," Bell said. "Feet are very important for everything, just getting you in position to let the rest of your body do the work."
Arizona manager Kirk Gibson said he's noticed a difference.
"We've worked a lot on some stuff, getting him to move his feet a little more," Gibson said. "He just goes about his business, he's very professional."
Bell started for the second day in a row Sunday, the first time he has been in the lineup for back-to-back games since his D-backs debut May 21-22. Bell, who was acquired from the Orioles on April 21, hit .381 in 26 games for Triple-A Reno before being called up.
"It's definitely starting to come, I'm feeling more comfortable just being around the guys," Bell said about settling in with a new team. "That's what I'm looking for, just getting comfortable."
No recent talks with Boston regarding Youkilis
SAN DIEGO -- Although there have been several reports linking the D-backs to Red Sox infielder Kevin Youkilis, a baseball source said Sunday there had not been any recent talks between the two clubs involving Youkilis.
Acquiring Youkilis could come with a price tag that involves not just a player or players in return, but there's a financial component as well.
Youkilis is earning $12 million this year and whether the Red Sox would pick up a significant amount of that in a deal is unknown. The veteran also has a $13 million option for next season that has a $1 million buyout attached.
It seems unlikely the D-backs would want to part with a top prospect for a half-season rental player, and while the D-backs ownership has been willing to stretch its budget in the past, the price tag for Youkilis might be too steep.
First baseman Paul Goldschmidt took a career-best 11-game hitting streak into Sunday's game, the second-longest active streak in the Majors.
"He's got a better swing path," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said of Goldschmidt's improvement of late. "Better mechanics. He's quicker to the ball."
It's been a rough road trip for closer J.J. Putz. The right-hander was unavailable for a game after waking up with a stiff neck in San Francisco and Sunday in San Diego he reported to the ballpark with a stomach bug and Gibson was unsure if he would be able to pitch.
"He was sick today," Gibson said. "He's had a tough go. He had the stiff neck and couldn't throw and he came back [Saturday] and he hadn't been on the mound for four days. We haven't gotten into a rhythm where David [Hernandez] throws the eighth and he throws the ninth. That's a challenge."
Left-handed reliever Craig Breslow has held opponents scoreless in 11 of his 12 road-game appearances for a 0.64 ERA.
Top prospect Trevor Bauer allowed three runs on nine hits in six innings for Triple-A Reno on Saturday. The right-hander walked two and fanned seven.
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.