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Lamb's full pregame work encourages D-backs

Third baseman out since April 2 with shoulder injury
Special to MLB.com

WASHINGTON -- One of the D-backs' missing pieces is getting closer to returning, as third baseman Jake Lamb continues to make strides as he recovers from a sprained AC joint in his left shoulder.

Lamb went through a full workout, fielding grounders, throwing and hitting, both Thursday and Friday, and D-backs manager Torey Lovullo was pleased with the results.

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WASHINGTON -- One of the D-backs' missing pieces is getting closer to returning, as third baseman Jake Lamb continues to make strides as he recovers from a sprained AC joint in his left shoulder.

Lamb went through a full workout, fielding grounders, throwing and hitting, both Thursday and Friday, and D-backs manager Torey Lovullo was pleased with the results.

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"He had a really good day today," Lovullo said Friday. "Everything went very well. He hit in the cage and when I was talking to him today, he was just going to take some ground balls."

In addition to the initial shoulder injury suffered on April 2, Lamb began to have inflammation in his right elbow while rehabbing, forcing the team to shut him down for a few days. But Lamb is back to making regular throws and reporting no discomfort.

"He's challenging himself to not change his motion," Lovullo said. "At 90 feet, he's aggressively throwing it the same way he would if he were here playing in a game or playing catch to warm up to go into a game. We're encouraging these guys to be exactly the same all the time, so they can use it as a gauge to see how they're feeling."

In other injury news, Steven Souza Jr. (right pectoral muscle) continues to throw up to 70 feet; Randall Delgado (left oblique strain) had a successful throwing session; and Shelby Miller (elbow) tossed a live batting practice session.

"He threw 25 pitches and said he felt fantastic. That was really encouraging news for Shelby," Lovullo said. "We have to see how he comes out of this, but everything sounded like it trended well."

D-backs remain road hogs
The D-backs have continued to impress away from Chase Field, entering Friday's game at Washington with the fourth-best road record in the Majors at 8-4, which is tied for the best 12-game start in club history, alongside the 2000 and '08 teams.

"The expectations on the road are always defined very clearly," Lovullo said. "You want to go and have success, you want to be able to win close games and close out close games. And that's what we do. At any venue, at any time, we know we have really good players that perform fearlessly and they can execute. When you do that, you're going to come out on the right side of things."

After the D-backs went 41-40 on the road last season, outfielder Chris Owings attributed some of their road success this year to experience.

"Maybe one thing that's helped us out is that we've had a young team in the past, and maybe it helps that guys are feeling more comfortable going to different fields," Owings said. "Having a series or two at a certain park helps out -- you know the city, the hotel, the area, the field, all that kind of fun stuff. Maybe that plays a little bit of a key in helping guys get into a routine."

D-backs visit Pentagon
A group of more than 20 D-backs players, coaches, staff and guests took a tour of the Pentagon on Friday, invited by the Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

The team has made its trips to D.C. count -- in 2017, the D-backs visited the Walter Reed Medical Center and were given a tour of the Capitol by Sen. John McCain.

"We had a great day and a great tour of the Pentagon," Lovullo said. "You saw so much of what goes on behind the scenes that you're unaware of and it makes me proud to be an American. You feel so privileged to be in there."

Tweet from @Dbacks: This morning, the #Dbacks were given an incredible tour of the Pentagon, meeting with various officials and visiting the 9/11 Memorial.Thank you, @DeptofDefense and @USOMetroDC. It was an honor. pic.twitter.com/u8bagBOdyB

MLB umpires holding charity auction
Major League umpires are offering up more than 300 items, including priceless autographed sports memorabilia, one-of-a-kind VIP experiences and upgraded ticket packages, during its 10th Annual UMPS CARE Charities Online Auction. The auction is underway at www.mlb.com/UmpsCare and closes at 7 p.m. MST on Monday.

Some of the items up for bid include signed bats, cleats, jerseys, photos and baseballs from some of the biggest stars in baseball. There are also opportunities to watch batting practice up close on the field at many MLB ballparks, hotel stays with game tickets, opportunities to have lunch with an MLB umpire, suites and tickets from Minor League Baseball clubs, golf foursomes and more.

All proceeds from the Online Auction support UMPS CARE Charities youth programs to provide Major League Baseball experiences for children awaiting adoption, Build-A-Bear Workshop experiences for hospitalized children coping with serious illnesses, college scholarships for deserving young adults who were adopted as children, and financial assistance for families in need.

Among the items the D-backs are offering are a batting practice experience, luxury suite tickets and signed baseballs.

Elliott Smith is a contributor to MLB.com based in Washington.

Arizona Diamondbacks, Jake Lamb