SAN DIEGO – Manager Torey Lovullo unveiled a revamped lineup on Thursday night against the San Diego Padres. He didn’t have to wait long for it to pay dividends.
With Paul Goldschmidt dropping from second to cleanup, the Diamondbacks scored five first-inning runs against the Padres.
Lovullo said he had two main reasons for the change: to shake things up and to get Goldschmidt into more run-producing opportunities.
The Diamondbacks’ lineup entered Thursday having scored three runs or less seven times in the past 12 games, and Lovullo hoped a new lineup might jumpstart things.
“I wanted to take a look at different things,” Lovullo said. “It was still the same participants; it’s just mixing them up a little bit. Sometimes that pushes them and sparks them. I don’t know, but I didn’t want to wait until mid-September to find out. I thought if it was going to do anything that it would be the best situation for us to try right now.”
As for Goldschmidt, five of his past seven home runs have been solo shots, with the other two coming with just one runner aboard. Four of those homers have come in the first inning.
“The analytics say that the best hitter hits second,” Lovullo said. “I believe in that. But I want to put our best run-producer in the right situations.”
Lovullo had outfielder Jon Jay leading off on Thursday night, but it’s unclear what he’ll do with that spot in the lineup on days when Jay isn’t playing.
Of course, the Diamondbacks’ five-run first wasn’t entirely a product of the lineup change. When Goldschmidt came to bat in the first inning, he did so with the bases empty. That’s because No. 3 hitter David Peralta had just connected for a three-run homer off Padres right-hander Jacob Nix.
But Goldschmidt singled as the Diamondbacks loaded the bases off Nix and added two more runs on Alex Avila’s single to left.
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Third baseman Jake Lamb underwent season-ending surgery on Wednesday, and while Lovullo said he didn’t know all the details of the procedure, he did know that everything went “as expected.”
That is, the “fraying” in Lamb’s rotator cuff was cleaned up, Lovullo said, and surgeon Dr. Neal ElAttrache found no additional tears or structural damage that needed repairs.
“It went very, very well,” Lovullo said. “To ramp up now and get on the rehab program is on him, and the hardest days are probably ahead of him. But I know that he’s ready for that challenge and he’ll be ready for spring training.”
Lamb dealt with shoulder issues every since the first week of the season and played his last game on July 26 in Chicago.
Reach Piecoro at (602) 444-8680 or [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @nickpiecoro.