Lamb’s three-run homer lifts Diamondbacks over Padres
PHOENIX — It hasn’t exactly been the most memorable season for Jake Lamb. But he delivered on Friday night.
Lamb launched a pinch-hit three-run home run off San Diego reliever Luis Perdomo in the eighth, propelling the Diamondbacks to a 6-3 win over the Padres. For Lamb, it was his fourth career pinch-hit homer – two of which have come off Perdomo now.
“Every win is a good win,” D-backs manager Torey Lovullo acknowledged after the game.
“But this one felt really, really good for one reason for me. It’s about Jake Lamb. I know Jake’s been grinding through the year, coming back from injuries. Last year, had another injury early in the season. Just watching him walk back in the dugout after hitting a ball the way he has in the past to help us win a game like that. To see that big smile on his face was worth it. Nothing better for me this entire day.”
Lamb entered the 2019 campaign looking to slide across the infield from third to first base and help fill some of the offensive void left by Paul Goldschmidt’s departure.
But a quad strain kept him out of the lineup for most of the first half of the season and he has struggled to get into much of a rhythm at the plate since.
Entering the final series of 2019, he was hitting just .186 for the year with five home runs and 27 RBIs in 75 games.
That sixth longball of the season was a no-doubter, though, traveling 455 feet into the right field seats to give Arizona the lead for good.
“He works as hard as anybody to produce good outcomes,” Lovullo explained. “He hasn’t had a lot of luck or good outcomes like that, so I know he’s going to sleep well tonight. Helped us win a baseball game. You just add it all up, it was a good day for him.”
Lamb’s home run came just one batter after Jarrod Dyson avoided the tag of catcher Luis Torrens at home plate.
With runners on second and third and the D-backs down to their final five outs while trailing by a run, Carson Kelly grounded into a fielder’s choice. The ball beat Dyson home, but he managed to slide around Torrens’ glove to tie the game.
That set the stage for Lamb to finish San Diego off. And he did.
The Diamondbacks have now picked up victories in six of their last eight, sitting at 83 wins with two games to go. That’s already one more than they had in 2018, when Paul Goldschmidt, Patrick Corbin and AJ Pollock were still on the roster. Finishing just above .500 was never the goal but, considering those losses — on top of the injuries the team has had to fight through this season — it’s not a bad accomplishment.
And Lovullo’s taking it as an encouraging sign.
“It means, to me, that we have a really strong core group of guys that are going to plow on until we tell the story the way that we want to tell it,” Lovullo said.