'Bummed' at not starting, Lamb delivers off bench

D-backs third baseman rips three-run double in eighth inning

'Bummed' at not starting, Lamb delivers off bench

PHOENIX -- Be aggressive, Jake Lamb told himself as he walked to the plate to pinch-hit for the D-backs in the bottom of the eighth inning Monday with the bases loaded and the Giants' Sergio Romo on the mound.

After fouling off Romo's first offering, Lamb crushed a fastball off the wall for a three-run double that brought the D-backs to within 5-4, which ended up being the final score.

"Honestly, I just watch Jordan Pacheco because he's one of the best I've seen at it," Lamb said of preparing to come off the bench. "He just says you've got to be aggressive early in the count when they like to throw their fastballs and you can't miss those pitches. So I took an aggressive hack at the first one and told myself he was probably coming with the fastball again, and I put a good swing on it."

Lamb beat out Cuban free agent Yasmany Tomas for the starting third-base job during Spring Training, but with lefty Madison Bumgarner on the mound, the D-backs gave the right-handed-hitting Aaron Hill the Opening Night start instead of Lamb.

"He was definitely disappointed he wasn't starting today," D-backs manager Chip Hale said. "He kind of earned that spot over the spring. I felt Aaron had some good matchups with Bumgarner, if you can have a good matchup with that guy."

Lamb said, "I was a little frustrated, but I just like playing. So it's not like I was mad at [Hale] or mad at anybody else, I was just a little bummed. I just wanted to get in the game. So I got in the game and I got some runs for the team, and that's all I can do."

Lamb did not know he was going to pinch-hit until right before Hale sent him up in place of Chris Owings.

"And that's the way I like it," Lamb said. "I don't want them to say four hitters away; I would rather they just say, 'Hey, you're up,' and that's what they did. It doesn't give you any time to think. You just go up and hit."

Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Inside the D-backs, and follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.