CINCINNATI -- When John Lamb stepped on the mound for the Reds on Tuesday vs. the Giants, he marked the ninth starting pitcher the club has used this season.
Injuries have decimated the rotation already in 2016 and the latest one to Jon Moscot -- tightness in his left non-throwing shoulder -- forced the Reds to cut short Lamb's rehab assignment and activate him from the disabled list. He provided a decent six-inning start for a no-decision while Cincinnati still came up short in a 3-1 loss.
"It was mixed emotions," Lamb said of his outing. "I know I'd like to go out there -- not to say by textbook -- but get ahead of hitters and keep the pitch count down a little more than I did tonight. At the end of the day, I was happy with being able to use the secondary pitches behind in the count and get some sort of an outcome that was in our favor, selfishly in my favor, and try to keep the team in the game."
With his 103 pitches over six innings, Lamb allowed one earned run and six hits with three walks and four strikeouts. Five of the hits he gave up were doubles, but only Hunter Pence's first-inning, two-out double resulted in scoring.
"It was good. It was much needed," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "The Giants gave him some really good at-bats and he had to make some big pitches with runners on base. He pretty well connected with Tucker [Barnhart] there, I thought they did a nice job."
Lamb began 2016 on the DL while trying to return from December back surgery. He had a 9.22 ERA in three rehab starts for Triple-A Louisville but delivered eight innings in his previous outing. When it became clear Moscot couldn't go, Lamb's fourth outing for Louisville on Monday was scratched.
"[My agent] just reminded me that if you're able to throw in Louisville, you can throw anywhere," Lamb said. "If you believe in it, that's a good sign. I certainly took that as the optimism moving forward, [to] come out here and be myself and do what I can to keep the team in the game."
Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Read his blog, Mark My Word, follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.