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Lamb plates seven runs in Osprey rout
D-backs prospect collects three hits, smacks first grand slam
07/29/2012 11:16 PM ET
Jake Lamb ranks second in the Pioneer League with 20 extra-base hits.
Jake Lamb ranks second in the Pioneer League with 20 extra-base hits. (Missoula Osprey)
The realist in Jake Lamb tells him he needs to learn to live with disappointment in a game where 70 percent failure is the norm and 40 percent success is almost unprecedented.

The perfectionist in him reminds him there's always room to improve.

In his first year as a professional, the D-backs prospect is balancing the will to win with the ability to accept losing.

Lamb went 3-for-4 with a grand slam and a career-high seven RBIs on Sunday, leading the Rookie-level Missoula Osprey to a 12-0 thumping of the Great Falls Voyagers.

The 21-year-old shortstop broke the single-game team record after plating no more than two runs in his previous 36 Pioneer League contests.

"It's awesome. I'm loving it here in Missoula and I'm loving Rookie ball," Lamb said. "But I'm hoping to move up in the system, and this improves your stock.

"I've had decent success here, but I'm never satisfied. I'm a perfectionist and there's always room to improve. I struggled with that in college because I wanted to succeed in every at-bat. If I didn't get a hit in my first at-bat, I would be [upset] the rest of the game."

On Sunday, Lamb reached on an error in the first inning before slugging a grand slam -- his first in the Minor Leagues -- with two outs in the second.

"The first at-bat was all fastball away, fastball in and I kept fouling them off. I got to a full count and they threw me a changeup and I was out in front of it. I wasn't expecting that," he said.

"Then the second at-bat was exactly the same -- fastball in, fastball away, fastball up, fastball down. I got to another full count and said, 'I'm getting off-speed here.' He threw me another changeup and I went out and got it. I put a good swing on it. I didn't get all of it, but with the short porch here in Missoula, I knew it was gone."

Lamb hit an RBI single in the fourth, drove home Pedro Ruiz with a sacrifice fly in the sixth and plated Ruiz again with an infield hit in the seventh.

"I don't remember ever having a game like this, to be honest," said Lamb, who was selected out of the University of Washington in the sixth round of last month's Draft. "In high school, I had two home runs [in a game], but I don't know how many RBIs I had. I know I never had a game like this in college."

Lamb raised his average 11 points .333 and moved into sixth place in the Pioneer League with 28 RBIs in 37 games. He also ranks second with 50 hits and third with 20 extra-base hits.

"I've definitely matured. I'm not worrying about some of the little things, like I did in college," the Seattle native said. "Just mentally knowing that if I start 0-for-1 I still have two or three more at-bats that I can win the game on.

"I've always been a guy that doesn't like to set statistical goals. I just want to play hard, make the routine plays and work my butt off on and off the field. If I do that, I'll be successful."

Chris Capper (3-1) walked two batters and struck out one over two innings of hitless relief to earn the victory. Osprey starter Yoimer Camacho gave up four hits and five walks over four innings.

Great Falls counterpart Jonathan Casey (4-3) took the loss after surrendering six runs -- five earned -- on four hits over two innings.

Ashley Marshall is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.
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