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Arizona Diamondbacks Notes: Chris Owings, Jake Lamb Locked In

Chris Owings and Jake Lamb are both swinging hot bats and their contributions helped the Arizona Diamondbacks win two of three from the San Diego Padres.

After splitting two games with the Detroit Tigers and four with the Pittsburg Pirates, the Arizona Diamondbacks bounced back with two consecutive series wins. Monday through Wednesday, Arizona sweep the bewildered New York Mets. Next, Torey Lovullo's club took two of three from the San Diego Padres at Petco Park this weekend. 

With the team set to open a three-game interleague series with another American League Central foe, the Chicago White Sox, Chris Owings and Jake Lamb are locked in. Both players flashed signs of potential at the plate in 2016. Owings had a consistent, career year. Lamb became one of the most productive third baseman in baseball before fading in the second half.

In 2017, both “CO” and Lamb have produced at a torrid pace for an offense that ranks near the top of major league baseball in nearly every major statistical category.

Entering Sunday’s game against the Padres, Owings was tied for fourth in the National League in multi-hit games (17), tied for fifth in hits (51), tied for seventh in stolen bases (9) and eighth in average (.331).

Despite an 0-for-4 effort Sunday against Padres starter Clayton Richard, who threw a complete game in the Padres 3-1 win over the Diamondbacks, Owings still finished the series with five hits, two doubles and two runs scored.

The 0-4 Sunday snapped Owings 10-start hit streak. During the streak, the Diamondbacks infielder and outfielder hit .419 (18-for-43) and multiple hits in five of six starts prior to Sunday. Owings is hitting .336 (33-for-98) with five doubles, a triple, four home runs and 17 RBIs in his last 26 games.

Owings is holding his own against righties (.354) and lefties (.321) and is batting .368 with runners in scoring position. Owings has produced more at Chase Field (.351, four home runs and 21 RBIs) compared to the road (.300, a home run, three RBIs).

Owings road bat came around and with him owning southpaws and righties, it will be hard to keep him out of the lineup. With Nick Ahmed swinging a hot bat, a platoon with David Peralta in right field is possible because of Ahmed’s defensive value at shortstop.

Lamb

The Diamondbacks third baseman is on pace for another solid first half but the question is can he avoid a second half slump?

Nobody knows but Lamb has developed into a premier cleanup man and offensive third baseman. Despite an 0-for-3 Sunday, Lamb entered Sunday’s game tied for third in the NL in RBIs. (36) and tied for sixth in home runs (11).

The third baseman’s eight-game hitting streak ended Sunday but during that span he hit .469 (15-for-32) with four home runs and 13 RBIs. Lamb had an RBI in four straight game and fell one game shy of equaling his career high for RBIs in consecutive games Sunday (May 27-June 1, 2016).

Friday, Lamb hit two home runs and drove in five, both single game career-highs. In the series against the Padres, Lamb was 4-for-8 with a double, two home runs, seven RBIs, three walks and four runs scored.

Lamb homered in three consecutive games for the second time in his career from May 16 to May 19 and his 481-foot blast on April 30 against the Colorado Rockies was the longest in the majors this season, according to Statcast, and tied for the sixth longest in Chase Field history.

The 26-year-old has loved hitting the first pitch. Since 2016, Lamb’s 1.102 slugging percentage is tops in the NL. The Seattle, Washington native covers pitches up, in the middle, middle-away, low and low-and-in well.

Last season, Lamb hit .178 against pitches low-and-in, one zone that most lefties handle well. This season, albeit less than two months in, Lamb has made the adjustment. Sometimes nicknamed “Lambchops”, he has an average launch angle of 13.6, which fits under the line drive category.

Defense at short for Owings and at third for Lamb has been an issue but right now, both are more than making up for it.

Sunday's Game

  • After pounding out nine more runs in a win Saturday, the Diamondbacks only managed one run on four hits against Richard.
  • Richard has stymied the Diamondbacks before, so don’t read too much into the performance versus the overall offensive output this series.
  • Chris Iannetta started behind the plate, his first game behind the plate since being activated from the 7-day concussion DL Saturday. Iannetta hit a solo shot to right-center on the first pitch he saw in the third.
  • TJ McFarland made his first appearance out of the bullpen after being activated from the 10-day DL before the game. McFarland allowed two runs (none earned).

Other Notes

Taijuan Walker was placed on the 10-day DL Sunday with a blister on his right index finger, retro to May 20. Speaking with MLB.com, general manager Mike Hazen did not expect the injury to linger.

"I don't think it's going to be that long,” Hazen said. "This is something he's been dealing with for a few weeks now, and while it was making some progress start to start, it's still something that he's been managing through."

Walker was scheduled to start Wednesday afternoon’s game against the White Sox. Whoever starts the game will face White Sox LHP Jose Quintana (2-5, 3.92 ERA)

Probables for first two games:

Monday: RHP Zack Greinke (5-2, 3.09 ERA) vs. RHP Miguel Gonzalez (3-4, 4.29) 

Tuesday: LHP Patrick Corbin (3-4, 4.38) vs. RHP Dylan Covey (0-3, 7.64)

Jody Jackson of Fox Sports Arizona reported Socrates Brito was assigned to Triple-A Reno and will begin a rehab assignment. Brito underwent surgery for a dislocated ring finger on his left hand. Brito completed his post-surgery rehab program and is ready to play. 


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