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Amarista shining with regular playing time

Replacing injured Cabrera, shortstop doing well on offense, defense

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SAN DIEGO -- Don't look now, but four years and 1,127 games into his big league career, Padres utility man Alexi Amarista is enjoying the ride of his life. Entering Thursday night's series finale against the D-backs, Amarista had reached base in a career-high 12 consecutive games.

"Oh yeah?" said Amarista, who had no idea. His streak ended Thursday when he didn't reach base in three plate appearances of the Padres' 5-1 loss.

"Listen, he's been playing tremendous shortstop," manager Bud Black said.

Amarista has gotten a good dose of playing time lately with regular shortstop Everth Cabrera back on the disabled list with a strained hamstring, and he responded by batting .341/.400/.390 with a triple, four RBIs and four walks during his 12-game streak.

And, as Black noted, he's made some dazzling plays at shortstop. Since July 1, Amarista has produced a .829 zone rating in the field, tied for sixth-best mark among Major League shortstops (minimum 350 innings played). His fielding percentage during that time is .983, also tied for sixth-best in the Majors.

"He's a good player, we've known that," Black said. "We didn't know what would happen if he played every day at shortstop.

"He hasn't disappointed at all. He's been impressive."

Scott Miller is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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