7/20/2014 12:22 A.M. ET
Gregorius stepping up in pinch with glove, bat
By Adam Lichtenstein / MLB.com
PHOENIX -- Chris Owings has been out of the lineup with a shoulder injury since late June, but fortunately for the D-backs, another young infielder has filled in well for the injured Owings.
In the 12 games since Owings has last played, Didi Gregorius has hit .306 (11-for-36) and provided solid defense at three different infield spots -- shortstop, second base and third base.
"It's a credit to him," manager Kirk Gibson said. "He's worked, he's been open-minded to it, he's very athletic."
In Friday's series opener against the Cubs, Gregorius drove in two of the D-backs' five runs, including the go-ahead run in the sixth.
"You got to do your best and put good at-bats up there," Gregorius said after the game. "Everybody else can see that if you do that. They see that you're doing your best."
Gibson said Gregorius has been working with hitting coach Turner Ward, which has helped his approach.
"He used to collapse quite a bit on his back side, just kind of hitting the ball," Gibson said. "Turner's worked a ton with him. Again, he's been open and receptive.
"It's very frustrating when you're trying to implement something, and you try to take it into a game, and it just doesn't happen that way. But as of late, we've seen better results, more consistency in his approach. He's getting down through the ball."
Ross OK after exiting early with left calf tightness
PHOENIX -- Cody Ross left Saturday's 9-3 victory over the Cubs before the top of the third inning with tightness in his left calf.
Before exiting, Ross singled up the middle in the second inning and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Wade Miley. Gerardo Parra replaced Ross in right field.
After the game, manager Kirk Gibson said Ross' injury wasn't severe and it should not keep him out for long.
"I talked to him and it seems like he's going to be OK," he said. "Maybe just like a cramp. But he wasn't in very good shape when he was out there, so it was kind of a no-brainer. You got to get him out of there."
Ross suffered a right hip injury in August 2013 and missed a month and half to end that season before returning to the D-backs' lineup in April this year.
Owings temporarily shut down to rest ailing shoulder
PHOENIX -- After shortstop Chris Owings saw a doctor on Friday, the D-backs elected to shut down their rookie infielder for the next three days, manager Kirk Gibson said Saturday.
Gibson didn't indicate that Owings had reinjured his left shoulder, which has kept him out since June 25. Instead, the additional down time will give Owings' shoulder a chance to heal.
Before he was shut down, Owings had been fielding and throwing, but he hadn't taken live batting practice.
"He's been sore, so we shut him down," Gibson said. "Just trying to get it kind of over the hump."
Gibson said Owings is getting close to returning, and the rookie shortstop is already eligible to be activated from the 15-day disabled list.
"He'll come back, and hopefully it'll be better," Gibson said.
Hot-hitting Peralta holding his own in center
PHOENIX -- David Peralta has made a name for himself at the plate since being called up from Double-A Mobile on June 1. But with the D-backs' outfield getting more crowded, Peralta has been forced to show versatility with his glove.
"For me it's the same, all the positions in the outfield -- I like it," Peralta said. "I like to play center field, I like to play left and right field. So it's not a big deal. It's the same position for me."
Peralta primarily played left field after his callup, but Mark Trumbo, who is fresh off the disabled list after suffering a stress fracture in his left foot, has that position claimed for a majority of games.
Gerardo Parra spends most of his games in right field, so Peralta has made only one appearance at that position, a spot he manned the second-most often while he was in the Minor Leagues.
That leaves center field as Peralta's main option. He played only eight Minor League games in center, and he has already surpassed that with the D-backs.
But Peralta's bat is keeping him in the lineup, even if he has to play a position with which he's unfamiliar. In his first 37 Major League games, he has a .325 batting average and an .813 on-base plus slugging percentage.
"He's done it really because of his hitting," manager Kirk Gibson said. "It's pushed him there. And he is a quick study; he wants to learn."
Gibson said on Saturday that Ender Inciarte is the best defensive center fielder on the D-backs' roster right now, but Peralta has done well enough playing there to justify penciling him into the lineup.
"He's not going to run down as many balls as Ender would or A.J. Pollock would, but he's still pretty good out there," Gibson said. " I prefer to have him on the corner; I think he's better on the corner than he is in center field."
"I learn from him," Peralta said. "We've been talking a lot, and he helps me sometimes -- how to field the ball, how to play."
Adam Lichtenstein is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.