Another sellout at @SaltRiverFields to watch the #Dbacks - @BertDbacks via Twitter
The second tie of spring for Arizona, as they played to a deadlock against Oakland, in a crisp, well-pitched game where our hurlers allowed only four hits. Brandon McCarthy allowed both A's runs, in four innings, but struck out six.
The home team got on the board quickly, in front of a crowd of 12,516 at Salt River Fields, the sixth sell-out of the season so far. After Adam Eaton was hit by a pitch from Bartolo Colon, he took second on a passed ball., and we then got four hits, including RBI singles from Gerardo Parra and Paul Goldschmidt. However, in between times, Martin Prado emptied the bases with a double-play, so we had to settle for a pair of runs. As it turned out, that was not just "settle" for the inning, but the offense as a whole. After Goldie's knock, the team went 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position the rest of the way.
Gerardo Parra continued his short run of solid outings since coming back from the World Baseball Classic, getting a pair of hits. It was also a good day for our catchers, who weren't retired all afternoon: Miguel Montero and Wil Nieves each went 2-for-2. Nieves even stole a base in the eighth inning, to move into scoring position for pinch-hitter Didi Gregorius, but he struck out. Evan Marzilli also stole a bag, with two outs in the ninth, after walking to reach base, but Mark Teahen couldn't come through with a walk-off hit in Arizona's last chance, grounding out to second-base instead.
It was definitely a day for our pitchers, in particular the Diamondbacks' bullpen, which held the Athletics to one hit over five innings, though the spring training roundabout of player changes probably make that less impressive than it would normally be. Another former A, Brad Ziegler, had a perfect fifth, and was followed by Matt Reynolds and Tony Sipp, each of whom also had a 1-2-3 inning. Conrad Flynn was the only one who got into trouble, loading the bases with one out in the eighth, on two walks around a double. However, the runner on third was thrown out on a close play at the plate, trying to score on a sacrifice fly to Marzilli. Matt Gorgen closed things out with a zero in the ninth.
Brandon McCarthy was more or less on cruise control through the first three innings. The first was somewhat wobbly, as a walk, wild pitch and single put runners on the corners with two down, but he got the third out, to start a streak of nine consecutive hitters retired by McCarthy. That came to a halt with a two-out walk in the fourth: by the time he finished the inning, another wild pitch, followed by back-to-back doubles, had ended Arizona's scoreless innings streak at 14, and tied the game at two. McCarthy ended with a line of four innings pitched and two runs allowed, on three hits and two walks, with six strikeouts. He now has 16 K's in 12 innings this spring.
Tomorrow's game see the Diamondbacks heading over to the West side of town, taking on the Padres at Peoria.