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Wilson gets first start with Hill out

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PHOENIX -- D-backs manager Kirk Gibson likes to get his bench players starts whenever he can as a way of keeping them sharp.

With second baseman Aaron Hill still smarting from being hit on the left hand by a pitch the night before, Gibson decided to give utility man Josh Wilson his first start of the season, hitting eighth. He walked twice, including one with the bases loaded, and scored a run.

Wilson had only one at-bat through the team's first seven games.

"It's just a mindset," Wilson said of being ready to play. "Your physical abilities and skills are going to play if you allow them to play. Being ready to play is just wanting the opportunity to come."

While starts are always appreciated, Wilson has learned over his 14-year professional career how to be ready when needed, even if the starts are few and far between.

"I've worked hard getting to a point where when the at-bats aren't coming regularly, I still feel like I can go in the cage just taking regular batting practice and feel like that's prepared me for a big league at-bat," Wilson said.

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.

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