Lamb Fest: Pinch hit home run by Jake Lamb lifts D-backs to 83rd win
The Arizona Diamondbacks sent in Jake Lamb as a pinch hitter in the eighth inning and Lamb Fest ensued.
Lamb hit a three run home run to propel the Diamondbacks to a 6-3 win over the San Diego Padres on Friday.
Lamb has struggled to return to All-Star form this season due to injuries. He was on the 10-day injured list from April 5-July 26 because of a strained left quad. He’s batting .190 with six home runs and 30 RBI this season, but that homer felt like validation.
“Just watching him walk back into the dugout after hitting the ball the way he has in the past and help up win a game like that,” Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo said, “I’d say the look on his face was worth it.”
The Padres took an early lead in the first on a sacrifice fly by first baseman Eric Hosmer.
Centerfielder Tim Locastro hit a leadoff base hit and the Diamondbacks had the bases loaded with two outs. Padres starter Eric Lauer got out of the jam by striking out left fielder Josh Rojas.
The Diamondbacks again found themselves with the bases loaded in the fifth inning. Lauer walked Christian Walker to tie the game in Arizona’s favor. Right fielder Adam Jones’s RBI gave the Diamondbacks a 2-1 lead. Rojas grounded out to once again end the inning with the bases juiced.
The Padres quickly struck back with a solo home run by third baseman Manny Machado in the sixth inning. San Diego retook the lead in the seventh inning on an RBI double by shortstop Luis Urias.
Robby Scott gets the win for the Diamondbacks and Archie Bradly gets his 18th save of the season. Rookie Taylor Clarke started the game, allowing one run on two hits with four strikeouts in three innings.
With their 83rd win, the Diamondbacks have surpassed their 2018 win total. Arizona has finished with a winning season in each of Lovullo’s three years as manager but only made the playoffs in 2017.
Arizona traded franchise icon Paul Goldschmidt before the season and ace Zack Greinke before the trade deadline, both of whom have made the playoffs with their respective current clubs. But in return, the Diamondbacks leave this season with a potential dynamic duo on top of the rotation in Zac Gallen (acquired in a trade with the Miami Marlins) and Luke Weaver, their franchise catcher Carson Kelly (who matched Miguel Montero for most homers in a single season by an Arizona catcher) and a bounty of prospects including Rojas, who debuted for the D-backs after being traded from Houston.
“It means to me that we have a really strong core group of guys that are gonna plow on until we tell the story the way we want to tell it,” Lovullo said. “We have obviously changed some faces around here but it hasn’t impacted their passion and desire to go out and win and do things right. That’s most important to me. Now that has yielded a very very successful year win/loss wise but we’re not close to where we need to get to.”