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Former D-backs 3B Jake Lamb finds success in Oakland

Oakland Athletics' Jake Lamb, left, is congratulated by Sean Murphy after hitting a solo home run against the Seattle Mariners during the seventh inning of a baseball game in Oakland, Calif., Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

Five MLB players who were suited up in Sedona red at the beginning of this season now stand to face each other in opposing uniforms throughout the playoffs.

And one of those former Arizona Diamondbacks players doesn’t look anything like he did earlier this year.

Third baseman Jake Lamb was designated for assignment in early September after struggling for the past three seasons and picked up by the Oakland Athletics.

“I knew I was hitting balls hard and seeing the ball really well,” Lamb said recently about his time in Arizona, but his bat still fell silent.

Before heading to Oakland, Lamb was just 5-for-43 through 18 games with the D-backs this season, posting a .116 batting average.

It wasn’t an easy choice for the D-backs to let go of the 29-year-old.

The former All-Star was outstanding in his first few season with Arizona, setting a career-high of 30 homers and 105 RBIs in 2017. But his playing time was repeatedly reduced as he battled persistent shoulder injuries.

“Jake Lamb has meant so much to this organization and he’s meant so much to me as well,” Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo told reporters when Lamb was DFA’d.

In Lamb’s first outing with the A’s Sept. 14, he hit his first home run since September 2019.

“I get benched (in Arizona) and that’s a battle,” he told reporters. “But just talking to the guys when I came over here, I made a very minor adjustment. As far as the swing goes, I feel like when I put the barrel on the ball, good things are happening.”

Appearing in 13 games for the Athletics, Lamb posted a .267 batting average with five hits and three home runs, and is now on his way to the playoffs with a team sitting in first place in the AL West.

“It’s every bit of a refresh, a reset button, whatever you want to call it,” he said.

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