Trevor Cahill got the start for the Diamondbacks, and was probably lucky to escape with only one run allowed in his 2.2 innings. He gave up six hits and walked two, so it was a case of base-runners everywhere: Cahill left the bases-loaded in the first, got out of a first-and-third with one out in the second, thanks to dialing up a double-play ball, and there were two more on base when he was pulled with two outs in the third. Matt Reynolds added a walk, to load them up again, but got the next Royals' hitter to ground out to first. Of the 15 batters Cahill faced this afternoon, the majority reached base safely: definitely not what we'd like to see.
Tony Sipp pitched the fourth, and fared worse, allowed three hits, two of them for extra-bases, and two runs in the inning. He turned the ball over to Patrick Corbin, who had previously been unscored upon in his five Cactus League innings. That streak continued for only one more out, as he also loaded the bases - but, unlike Cahill, was not able to escape, Alex Gordon cranking a grand-slam on to the berm just to the right of center. Corbin lasted just the one inning, allowing four earned runs on three hits and a walk. Between that, and Tyler Skaggs' solid outing last night, the contest for the fifth starter's spot might not be quite as over as it seemed at this time yesterday.
That made the score 7-0 , though the rest of our pitchers kept them to one run over the final four innings - admittedly, largely against a selection of B-hitters. None of them managed a perfect frame, however: Rommie Lewis walked a guy and hit a batter; Andew Chafin allowed a hit; Archie Bradley was charged with the run in what seems to have been his spring debut, on two hits, though fanned two and hit 97 mph; Garrett Mock walked two mopping up the ninth. All told, that was an ugly total of 15 hits and seven walks allowed by Arizona pitchers: if the Royals hasn't left 14 men on base, the final score would have been near the 12-run margin suffered when we played them last week.
While yesterday, we could at least take some comfort from the other aspect of the game, today, the hitters were about as ineffectual as the pitchers, managing seven hits. There were slightly fewer strikeouts this afternoon, but a K:BB ratio for the offense of 7:1 is still nothing to write home about. Kila Ka`aihue had two hits for us, and Eric Hinske a hit and that solitary walk. But there was an error by Rod Barajas, and the TOOTBLAN count for the day was more than the tally of runs scored. Adam Eaton was thrown out trying to take third, and Paul Goldschmidt was out at the same place, trying to go first-to-third on a single [though it was apparently a perfect throw].
The Royals remain unstoppable, knocking out their 11th victory in a row - I wonder what the Cactus League record mark is for that? And, more importantly, how did the team behind that do in the regular season? Checking our pre-season records back to 2000, we've had a couple of seven-game win streaks, so Kansas City are likely getting into some rarefied territory now. It drops Arizona's record to 5-6; they'll hope for better tomorrow, when they head over to West Phoenix to take on the Brewers at Maryvale. Wade Miley gets the start, with Chase Anderson scheduled to be first out of the bullpen.