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Pennington solid in multiple double-play combos

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PHOENIX -- With injuries forcing the club to move its players around the diamond, D-backs shortstop Cliff Pennington had four double-play partners in April: Aaron Hill, Martin Prado, Josh Wilson and Didi Gregorius.

But if you ask 28-year-old, Pennington will say it hasn't been much of a challenge adjusting to a new middle-infield cohort on a regular basis.

"You would think it probably would be hard but they are all pretty similar and they are all pretty good," Pennington said. "It's been pretty easy. Turning double plays is the hardest part, but they all like the ball in a similar spot. It's been fine."

Fine, indeed. Through the end of the first month of the season, Pennington is tied for first in the National League in double plays turned with 21. He has also only committed two errors in 21 games at shortstop and none in four games playing second base.

That steady glove work has been key for the D-backs, given that 20 of the club's 27 games have been decided by two runs or less.

"Defense stands out even more when you're playing close games, it matters a lot," Pennington said. "When you can save a run, it's like an RBI for your team. We take a lot of pride in that and we're doing a good job."

Tyler Emerick is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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