Ian Kennedy and the rest of the pitching staff took a shutout into the ninth inning, before Oakland finally managed to push a run across, off Jose Marte. However, by that time, the Diamondbacks had taken advantage of some defensive indifference and thirteen hits of their own, to drive in ten runs and roll to the biggest victory of the season so far. It was the first time they had won back-to-back games, and extended their unbeaten streak to four.
Details follow after the jump - as well as the Arizona box-score, which will hopefully save brian custer from further punishment. :-) There's also info on Ian Kennedy's new weapon, and details of why the image atop this piece is not entirely gratuitous. Trust me, that one is actually relatively tasteful...
|Drew, S, SS||4||1||2||2||0||0||1||.438|
|Jackson, C, DH||2||0||0||0||1||0||1||.500|
|Bailey, J, PH-DH||1||1||1||2||1||0||0||.429|
|Upton, J, RF||2||1||1||1||1||0||2||.267|
|Macias, D, RF||2||0||0||0||0||0||2||.214|
|LaRoche, Ad, 1B||3||1||1||2||0||0||3||.267|
|Corporan, C, C||2||0||0||0||0||1||0||.000|
|Reynolds, M, 3B||3||0||0||0||0||2||0||.200|
|Montero, M, C||2||0||0||0||0||0||0||.133|
|Roberts, R, LF||3||0||0||0||0||1||1||.188|
|Rogers, E, SS||0||0||0||0||1||0||0||.200|
|Ojeda, A, 2B||3||0||3||1||0||0||0||.357|
2B: Drew, S (2, Ross), Ryal (1, Rodriguez, H), Frey (1, McBeth).
HR: LaRoche, Ad (1, 1st inning off Anderson, B, 1 on, 2 out), Bailey, J (1, 8th inning off McBeth, 1 on, 0 out).
TB: Drew, S 3; Frey 2; Bailey, J 4; Upton, J; LaRoche, Ad 4; Ryal 2; Allen; Gillespie; Ojeda, A 3; Hallberg.
RBI: LaRoche, Ad 2 (3), Upton, J (10), Ojeda, A (3), Drew, S 2 (5), Frey (1), Bailey, J 2 (2).
2-out RBI: LaRoche, Ad 2; Upton, J; Ojeda, A; Drew, S 2.
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: LaRoche, Ad; Macias, D; Cowgill.
Team RISP: 7-for-12.
Team LOB: 7.
SB: Gillespie (2, 2nd base off Ross/Suzuki, K).
DP: (Drew, S-Ojeda, A-LaRoche, Ad).
|Kennedy, I (W, 2-0)||3.0||2||0||0||1||2||0||0.00|
|Zavada (H, 1)||1.0||0||0||0||1||1||0||6.75|
|Gutierrez, J (H, 2)||1.0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0.00|
Yes, another good result from the Diamondbacks this afternoon, in all facets of the game - more than half our hits came with runners in scoring position, which is a good sign. But let's start with Kennedy, who gave us three scoreless innings to open the game. He scattered two hits and a walk, fanning two, and the report is that he has added a sinking two-seam fastball to his repertoire. Now, this is spring training, and I'm pretty sure the "hurler adds a pitch" story was on Nick Piecoro's list of Cactus cliches, but there does seem evidence this could be a significant step.
Said Kennedy after the game, "I feel pretty good with it. That's a pitch I need. The four-seamer can be pretty straight, and you have to hit the spot. The two-seamer you can let it do its thing and let guys hit it and get ground balls. You look at the best pitchers, and they all have it. It's just a pitch that saves you pitches later on in the game. It can get you further into games." That said, only two of the seven non-K outs he got today came on the ground, but the story reports a scout as saying, "I think the two-seamer's going to take him to the next level." Kennedy's has been asking Brandon Webb about his pitches, and certainly, there's no better teacher.
I know it's only spring, and early days at that, but thus far, #1-3 [Dan Haren, Edwin Jackson and Kennedy] have thrown a total of 14.2 shutout innings, allowing eleven hits and three walks. My concern thus far has mostly been at the end of the rotation and, in particular, our "veteran presence" in the 'pen. Bob Howry and Aaron Heilman, in six appearances, have allowed 13 hits over six innings, with seven earned runs. Zach Kroenke and Blaine Boyer also need to get their ERAs down into the single-figures. Sooner rather than later would be nice.
We do have some relievers going in the right direction though. After Kennedy, good to see Clay Zavada get back on track with a scoreless inning: he walked the lead-off Athletics' hitter, but then got a double-play and a strikeout to neutralize the threat. Juan Gutierrez retired all three batters he faced once again, and joined Jordan Norberto as the two D-backs who have pitched three innings without allowing any hits. Cesar Valdez and Barry Enright both posted zeroes, though each allowed a couple of base-runners. Daniel Stange passed the shutout torch in the eighth, before Marte blotted the team copybook, surrendering an RBI single in the ninth.
Leading the offensive charge was Augie Ojeda, who went 3-for-3 to raise his spring average to .357. Stephen Drew had a couple of hits and drove in a couple of runs with a double down the line in the sixth, and there were two-run homers for Jeff Bailey and Adam LaRoche. Bailey added a walk, matching Justin Upton, who had an RBI single and a free pass. Taking the loss for the Athletics was former Diamondbacks prospect Brett Anderson, who was sent to Oakland as part of the Dan Haren trade, so nice to rough him up a bit. Cole Gillespie stole a base, and we took advantage of a pair of A's errors, to score three unearned runs.
Steve Gilbert reports that Kris Benson worked out in the Diamondbacks' minor-league camp. Josh Byrnes denied this had anything to do with Webb's likely DL stint, saying "Every club is always wanting to ensure pitching depth. It's an evaluation worth doing. We'll see how we proceed." While there's not much there to argue with, I do suspect that the question of pitching depth is rather more forward in his mind than would be the case if Webb was sailing majestically toward Opening Day. Benson, however, probably isn't the answer: he has two starts in the majors since 2006. The absence of wife Anna - who once famously said she's sleep with the entire Mets organization if her husband cheated on her - will probably be a relief to Mrs. Mark Reynolds, Mrs. Ryan Roberts, etc...