Once he was through with the lengthy travel that came with his first promotion to Triple-A, Jake Lamb wanted to get down to the business of playing baseball. The early returns have been worth the trek.
The D-backs' No. 5 prospect hit his first Pacific Coast League homer on a 3-for-5 night Saturday as Reno emerged with a 7-5 road win over El Paso.
"I spent just about 24 straight hours in airports and on a plane," Lamb said of his journey from Double-A Mobile, "so once I finally got on a field, got all of my luggage and everything, got in the batter's box that first AB, it felt good to get it out of the way."
Lamb arrived with the Aces on Friday and ripped an RBI single in his first trip to the plate with his new club. He started in similar fashion on Saturday with a single in the first inning before clubbing a solo homer off Chihuahuas reliever Branch Kloess (3-5) in the top of the fifth to put Reno ahead for good.
"It was a slider that he threw me, and he was a sinkerball guy," Lamb said. "I scooted up in the box, and I knew everything was going to be down. He actually had me out in front, but the slider stayed in the zone a little too long. I kind of just fell into the pitch, honestly. It stayed fair. I couldn't really tell if it was out or not, so I was booking it around the bases until the umpire said it was a home run."
The corner infielder, who started Saturday at first base before shifting to third in the seventh inning, stuck with the same attitude at the plate that led to a .318/.399/.551 slash line in 103 Southern League games.
"That's the tough part about this game," Lamb said. "I usually hit my funks when I'm going really good because you start to get out of your approach and think you can hit everything. You start swinging at bad pitches and all of that. When I stepped in the box for the first time tonight, I was just trying to see the ball deep and hit something to left-center or center field. That's been my approach all year."
Lamb's three hits led the Aces, who got a three-run homer from Dustin Martin.
Charles Brewer (6-9) won his second straight start, allowing five runs -- four earned -- on nine hits and a walk while striking out three over six innings. Jake Barrett worked a 1-2-3 ninth for his eighth save.
Chihuahuas starter Keyvius Sampson lasted four innings and was charged with four runs -- three earned -- on three hits and three walks with seven strikeouts.