D-backs hang on after Lamb's big hit

D-backs hang on after Lamb's big hit

SAN FRANCISCO -- Arizona third baseman Jake Lamb, who typically thrives at AT&T Park, lashed a bases-loaded triple in Tuesday night's third inning to propel the D-backs to a 4-3 triumph over the San Francisco Giants.

Lamb, a career .333 hitter in San Francisco, drove a Jeff Samardzija pitch into deep left-center field to clear the bases and break a scoreless tie.

"Lamber gets a quality pitch and drives it off the left-center field wall," D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said. "That was the big moment in the game, but there was some quality at-bats that led up to that. Jake Lamb has worked long and hard for those types of moments to come through and I'm thrilled for him."

Lamb's bases-clearing triple

Chris Iannetta's RBI single in the eighth off Neil Ramirez proved vital to preserve the victory for a dominant Robbie Ray, who surrendered four hits in 6 2/3 innings, then watched as the bullpen hung on despite allowing a run in the eighth and two in the ninth.

• Ray gets everything clicking vs. Giants

Iannetta's RBI single

Samardzija also lasted 6 2/3 innings, yielding three runs and five hits. He improved significantly upon his previous outing last Thursday at Arizona, where he worked 5 1/3 innings and allowed six runs and eight hits, including three homers.

"When you face a team back-to-back, you have a pretty good idea of what you need to fix," Samardzija said.

• Samardzija finishes strong in loss to D-backs

A step or two away: San Francisco's Gorkys Hernandez has proven capable of making excellent defensive plays, but he missed another chance in the third inning as he couldn't quite reach Lamb's fly to deep left-center field with the bases loaded and one out. The ball barely cleared Hernandez's glove and all three runners scored.

"It was not an easy play," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "That was the difference in the game, probably."

Bochy on tough 4-3 loss at home

Running it down: Meanwhile, A.J. Pollock demonstrated what playing center field is all about. With one on and one out in the Giants' half of the third, Aaron Hill smoked a drive to deep left-center field that looked like a sure extra-base hit. Except Pollock simply outran the ball and snared it.

"I was just trying to make a play," Pollock said. "Robbie is pitching so well and you take a couple of good steps and think you might have a chance at it. Then the last couple, it's decision time if you think you can make it or not. I just felt like I could have a chance at that ball and was fortunate enough to catch it."

Pollock's spectacular grab

Bochy said he has no plans to elevate Eduardo Nunez in the batting order, though the infielder went 4-for-5 with an RBI and raised his batting average to .389.

"I just like him there," Bochy said, referring to the sixth spot Nunez typically occupies. "He fits in well, it breaks up the lefties, it puts him in a position where he can drive in runs or steal bases. I could put him in the leadoff spot, but I just like him in that area."

Nunez's four-hit night

D-backs: The D-backs wrap up a three-game series with the Giants on Wednesday night at 7:15 p.m. MST. Shelby Miller makes his second start of the year after beating the Indians last Friday night at Chase Field.

Giants: The Giants say goodbye until August to the D-backs with Wednesday night's series finale beginning at 7:15 PT. San Francisco's starter will be Matt Cain, the only member of the rotation who didn't face Arizona in last week's season-opening series. He's 14-8 with a 3.45 ERA in 36 career starts against the D-backs.

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Steve Gilbert has covered the D-backs for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB.

Chris Haft has covered the Giants since 2005, and for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.