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Gregorius stepping up in pinch with glove, bat

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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."

Adam Lichtenstein 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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