{}
CLOSE

Now Commenting On:

Lombardozzi becoming a reliable outfielder

Lombardozzi becoming a reliable outfielder

|
Lombardozzi becoming a reliable outfielder
WASHINGTON -- Steve Lombardozzi's emergence into a capable leadoff hitter has been a pleasant surprise, but his transition into a reliable outfielder might have the largest role in the significant playing time he has been seeing as a rookie.

With two outs and the tying runner on second base in the sixth inning of Wednesday's 3-2 victory over the Rays, Lombardozzi preserved the lead with a diving catch of a shallow fly ball to left off the bat of Jose Molina. The play was highlight reel-worthy in its own right, but with the Nats having lost four straight, a win was critical.

Prior to this season, Lombardozzi had never played in the outfield. He came up through the Minors as an infielder and began the season in a utility role before shifting to left field.

"At first I took a step back, and I realized it was going to be short, so I was hauling my [tail] in, and I was able to come up with the catch," Lombardozzi said. "I kind of turned that play into a web gem myself by making it harder than it should have been."

Once his bat proved steady enough for the top of the lineup, Lombardozzi became the primary leadoff hitter against right-handed pitchers. The 23-year-old switch-hitter is batting .268/.329/.346 with 11 RBIs, though in 25 at-bats against lefties, he is hitting just .120/.214/.160.

{}
{}
Boys and Girls Club of America

©2014 MLBAM, LP. All rights reserved.

The following are trademarks or service marks of Major League Baseball entities and may be used only with permission of Major League Baseball Properties, Inc. or the relevant Major League Baseball entity: Major League, Major League Baseball, MLB, the silhouetted batter logo, World Series, National League, American League, Division Series, League Championship Series, All-Star Game, and the names, nicknames, logos, uniform designs, color combinations, and slogans designating the Major League Baseball clubs and entities, and their respective mascots, events and exhibitions. Use of the Website signifies your agreement to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy (updated May 24, 2013).

View MLB.com in English | En Español