Diamondbacks third baseman Eric Chavez learned early on in his major-league career that playing good defense at his position wasn’t an option. It was a priority.

“I had two balls go through my legs and the pitcher just kind of looked at me like he wanted to kill me,” said Chavez, a six-time Gold Glove winner. “I actually know his name but I don’t want to say it. But that kind of motivated me. Not only do I look bad, but now he’s got to throw more pitches and he looks bad. So it affects more than just yourself.”

When Chavez signed with Arizona in December, he found a kindred spirit in the entire Diamondbacks’ organization. That was evident in Arizona’s lusting after Martin Prado, a far superior and more versatile defender than Justin Upton, and the way the defense has played the first month of the season.

Going into Friday’s game against Colorado at Chase Field, the Diamondbacks led all of baseball in fielding percentage (.993) and had committed just six errors. They didn’t have an error in Friday’s 6-3 loss, the 19th time in 23 games they have played clean baseball defensively.

The Diamondbacks’ 3-2 win over the Rockies on Thursday was a perfect example of how Arizona’s defense has helped offset the injuries to everyday starters Jason Kubel, Adam Eaton and Aaron Hill, and the slow starts at the plate of Prado and Miguel Montero. In the first inning, with a runner on first and no outs, Paul Goldschmidt flagged a grounder along the first-base line and made a perfect throw to second to start a double play.

On Friday, after the Rockies already had taken a 2-0 first-inning lead, center fielder A.J. Pollock raced onto the warning track to catch a deep fly ball by Wilin Rosario. If Pollock doesn’t make the grab it’s 3-0 and Rosario likely is standing on third.