SAN FRANCISCO -- D-backs third baseman Jake Lamb got his first career start against Giants left-hander Madison Bumgarner on Sunday night, and he certainly made the most of it as his eighth-inning single proved to be the only hit Bumgarner allowed as the Giants beat the D-backs, 4-0, at AT&T
SAN FRANCISCO -- D-backs third baseman Jake Lamb got his first career start against Giants left-hander Madison Bumgarner on Sunday night, and he certainly made the most of it as his eighth-inning single proved to be the only hit Bumgarner allowed as the Giants beat the D-backs, 4-0, at AT&T Park.
The left-handed Lamb has had some struggles against left-handed pitching with a .193 mark. As a result, D-backs manager Chip Hale has sat Lamb at times against tough lefties.
However, with the D-backs' odds of making the postseason growing longer by the day, Hale has decided Lamb will get more and more playing time against lefties.
That began Sunday with Lamb's first look at Bumgarner.
After a check-swing strikeout in his first at-bat, Lamb became the first Arizona player to reach base when he hit a fly ball to right that Gregor Blanco dropped for an error.
"I had confidence after that first AB; I was able to make adjustments," Lamb said. "I kind of saw where the ball needs to start in order for it to be a strike. His angle, it's tough on lefties -- well, it's tough on everybody."
By the time Lamb came up for his third at-bat in the eighth, Bumgarner was five outs away from a no-hitter and the sellout crowd was into every pitch.
"It's not easy," Hale said. "The longer that no-hitter goes on, the harder it is to get the hit to break it up."
Lamb lined a 2-2 slider into right field for a clean single to end the no-hit bid.
"The ball I hit was a slider over the middle of the plate," Lamb said. "I didn't feel the pressure. I don't think a lot of other guys did. He's one of the better pitchers in the game and you've got to give him a lot of credit."
It was clear to the D-backs early on in the game that Bumgarner had his breaking stuff working.
"I hadn't faced him [before], but just watching him from the dugout, he's always had a good curveball, but he's throwing it for effective strikes," Lamb said. "Even the ball I hit to right for the error, it was a curveball that he left up in the zone. When he's throwing that curveball for a strike, it keeps you off balance with all of his other pitches -- slider, cutter, fastball. That was the one thing that everyone noticed -- he had his curveball today."
This was not the first time the D-backs had nearly been on the wrong end of a no-hitter at AT&T Park. On Sept. 6, 2013, Yusmeiro Petit was one out away from a perfect game when Arizona's Eric Chavez lined a single to right.
"That was nice," D-backs first baseman Paul Goldschmidt said of Lamb's hit. "It kind of brought back memories of when Petit was pitching here and Chavy got the hit. You never want to be no-hit."
Steve Gilbert has covered the D-backs for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB.