4/21/2014 8:16 P.M. ET
Owings excited for first game as leadoff hitter
By Steve Gilbert / MLB.com
CHICAGO -- D-backs shortstop Chris Owings has played at Wrigley Field before, but Monday's experience was very different.
Owings played in high school tournament game at Wrigley in front of a small gathering of family and friends and he also saw a game as a fan while he was playing for Class A South Bend.
"We won that Perfect Game tournament in Atlanta and got invited up here," Owings said. "So we just came up here and played one game. It was a pretty cool experience. It's going to be a lot different playing here. I'm just excited about getting here getting underway."
When he arrived at the visitor's clubhouse and checked the lineup Monday, Owings did a double take.
For the first time this year, he was hitting in the leadoff spot.
"Surprised when I came to the field today, but I'm just going to take it and have good at-bats up there," Owings said. "Obviously, a little different being the first guy up there, but not going to change anything from my perspective too much. Definitely get some more pitches to hit rather than hitting in the eight-hole. I'm excited about it. It's a good sign for sure."
Usually against left-handed pitchers it's A.J. Pollock who hits leadoff, but Pollock is out with an injured neck and the other leadoff option -- Gerardo Parra -- was given a day off. Though if Owings seems to take to the role, it might not just be a short-term deal.
"We don't have a prototypical leadoff hitter," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said. "He was swinging the bat pretty good and I thought he'd be a good guy to set the table and get on base for us."
Wrigley among Gibson's favorite parks to visit
CHICAGO -- D-backs manager Kirk Gibson is a fan of old ballparks, so you can put Wrigley Field up near the top of his list of favorite places to visit.
"History, I think, means more to you as you grow a little bit older and you spend time in a place and you start to appreciate it," Gibson said. "Amenity wise, this is not a very good park for the players. You have to share the batting cage and the weight room, stuff like that. And the concourses are much more crowded for the fans. The tradition and the history and the atmosphere, you come in here and you start looking into some of the stories and things that went on here, it's well worth it."
The fans in the outfield bleachers are notorious for their ability to give opposing outfielders a hard time and that reminded Gibson of one of his favorite Wrigley memories.
One day when he was a visiting player with the Dodgers, home-plate umpire Jerry Crawford called him out on a pitch Gibson thought was outside.
"I made a pact with myself that I wasn't going to say anything to him because he had a habit of expanding the zone because he liked the reaction out of me," Gibson said. "I walked about five steps away and I turned around and we got into it."
Gibson could not believe that Crawford did not throw him out of the game despite his vociferous argument, so he told Crawford he must not have the guts to throw him out.
Crawford replied by asking what inning it was.
"I said, the first," Gibson said. "He said, 'Let those guys [left field fans] bury you for another nine.' I said, 'That's a good one Jerry.' And they buried me."
Campana recalls memories of time at Wrigley
CHICAGO -- D-backs outfielder Tony Campana was drafted by the Cubs and made his Major League debut with them, so he has fond memories of his time at Wrigley Field.
Campana played for the Cubs in 2011 and 2012 and during that time was somewhat of a fan favorite despite less than gaudy numbers.
At just 5-foot-8, Campana speculated that the reason fans liked him was because they could relate to him.
"I think it's the kind of thing where parents look at their little kid and they go, 'Hey look, he can play in the Major Leagues, so maybe you can too,'" Campana said.
Campana posted a .262/.306/.300 slash line in his two seasons with the Cubs.
"They treated me good here," Campana said. "I can't complain at all. They gave me my first callup here and I got here and the fans do a good job of supporting guys here. They let you know when you're doing things right and they let you know when you're not. And I respect them for that."
As for the visiting clubhouse, he was less than impressed after spending time in the home one.
"It's not very nice," he said with a smile.
Sore neck keeps Pollock out of D-backs' lineup
CHICAGO -- D-backs outfielder A.J. Pollock was out of the lineup Monday, one day after being removed from a game in Los Angeles with tightness on the left side of his neck.
After Sunday's game, Pollock said he hoped the neck would get better overnight and he would be able to play Monday.
"It's pretty sore still," he said. "It was feeling pretty [bad] last night. But you know the neck, you get something worked back in line and then it starts to heal so it can be pretty quick."
With that in mind, the team was working to get Pollock in to see the Cubs' team chiropractic specialist.
Tony Campana was in the lineup in center field in place of Pollock.
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.