PHOENIX (AP) First-year Arizona Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo oozes confidence in his team.
So far, it’s been well-founded.
Jake Lamb homered off a left-hander for only the second time this season, five Diamondbacks drove in at least one run and Arizona beat Chicago 8-6 on Wednesday to complete a three-game sweep of the White Sox.
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The Diamondbacks won for the eighth time in nine games and are 10 games above .500 (29-19) for the first time since 2011.
”We understand that we’re doing things in a very special way. And something special could happen here,” Lovullo said. ”We’re on the right road, but we’ve got to continue doing what we’ve been doing for the first 40 games and take it from there.”
Arizona scored six runs in the fifth inning, chasing starter Jose Quintana and building a six-run lead, but they had to hold off a White Sox rally.
Quintana (2-6), who retired the first 10 batters he faced, went just 4 1/3 innings, allowing eight runs and eight hits, both season highs.
”A tough game for me – bad day,” he said. ”I look ahead and keep going. Turn the page from this day and keep working and throw the ball where I want, especially fastballs.”
Jose Abreu and Leury Garcia homered for the White Sox, who were swept for the second time on a 3-7 road trip. The Los Angeles Angels did it to start the trip.
”You’re not going to see any of our guys putting their heads down and worrying about what just happened over the past 10 days,” Chicago manager Rick Renteria said. ”We take account of what happens, we take account of the good and the bad and then we got to get ready for the next series.”
Andrew Chafin (1-0) threw a scoreless fifth inning to get the victory in relief of Randall Delgado.
Fernando Rodney walked Melky Cabrera with two outs in the ninth but got Abreu to ground out to end the game for his second straight save and 12th in 14 tries.
Abreu was 4 for 5 with three RBIs.
Delgado, normally a long reliever, started in place of Taijuana Walker – out with a blister on his right index finger.
Of Arizona’s six hits in the fifth inning, three came from left-handed batters against the lefty Quintana.
With the game tied 2-2, Quintana hit Brandon Drury to start the inning. Lamb – batting .149 against lefties – followed with an opposite-field home run, his 13th of the season.
Lovullo plans to keep playing Lamb against left-handers. The only difference is he is dropped from cleanup to seventh in the batting order.
”Jake is going to continue to grow and learn every area of the game, so when he does something like he did today it doesn’t surprise me,” Lovullo said. ”I know he’s working hard to have those moments.”
Lamb has hit home runs in two straight games and five of his last seven. He knows he has work to do against left-handers.
”I obviously know what’s going on,” he said. ”At the same time, I’m not putting any extra pressure on myself. I’m just happy where I’m at mentally. I’m in a good spot. The results will come with more ABs and me continuing to work at it.”
Nick Ahmed had a two-run single, Chris Owings a sacrifice fly and Drury a run-scoring single in the inning.
The Diamondbacks are 21-8 at home after going an NL-worst 33-48 there last season. They have tied the best record after 29 games, set in 1999 and matched in 2000.
Going into the game, the Diamondbacks were leading the majors in runs (167), home runs (46) and doubles (65) at home.
White Sox: RHP James Shields (strained right lat) threw a 30-pitch bullpen at Chase Field on Wednesday and is scheduled for another on Friday.
Diamondbacks: LF Yasmany Tomas (left hip flexor) was a late scratch from Wednesday’s lineup.
White Sox: Chicago has Thursday off before hosting Detroit in a doubleheader on Friday. The White Sox starting pitcher for the opener has not been announced. RHP Mike Pelfry (1-4, 4.85 ERA) will start the second game. The Tigers have yet to announce their starter for either game.
Diamondbacks: Arizona embarks on an 11-game trip, beginning with four in Milwaukee. LHP Robbie Ray (3-3, 3.91) starts the opener for the Diamondbacks; RHP Zach Davies (5-2, 5.44) goes for the Brewers.