Diamondbacks 5, Royals 6: Roller-coaster relief

@Dbacks, via Twitter

This one was decided after both starters had left the game. The first pitcher out of the Kansas City bullpen was pretty bad, retiring one of seven batters faced. But our first reliever wasn't much better, Joe Paterson allowing a three-run homer and taking the loss.

Record 5-5. Change on 2013: +1/2.

Patrick Corbin had his second start of spring for the Diamondbacks, and in some ways, it was very similar to his first, both lasting four innings, and resulting in two runs allowed, both earned. He did allow an extra hit (five this afternoon) and an extra walk (two) here, and faced 19 batters, which is three more than last time, so I guess it could be considered a slight stretching of our Down Under Opening Day starter. He allowed three singles in the first to put the Royals on the board, but regrouped with a hitless second and third innings, and was a little unlucky to give up the second run, a two-out bloop dropping just between A.J. Pollock and Aaron Hill to drive in the runner from second.

Hard to be quite as charitable towards Joe Paterson, who gave up hits to a pair of right-handers after coming in to take over from Corbin in the fifth. That's not too much of a surprise - he's always been seen as struggling when he doesn't have the platoon advantage. But Paterson then coughed up a three-run bomb to a left-hander Mike Moustakas, and it was a serious no-doubter, which almost cleared the berm in right at Salt River Fields. Admittedly, those were the first runs Joe has allowed this spring, but with the team likely taking an additional left-hander to Sydney, it did his case no good at all, especially with fellow leftie Eury de la Rosa throwing a scoreless frame later.

The rest of the run prevention was a mixed bag. Marcos Mateo gave us a scoreless sixth, around a hit and a walk and after de la Rosa's seventh, Matt Stites looked impressive in the eighth, retiring all three batters he faced. However, Will Harris and Chris Owings' second error of spring handed the Royals an insurance run in the ninth, extending their lead to 6-4. That proved crucial, as a Tony Campana single drove in Ender Inciarte with two outs in the ninth, to make it a one-run game. Campana, now representing the tying run, then stole second, but Henry Blanco struck out swinging to seal defeat for the Diamondbacks.

Our other four runs all came in the fourth inning, Arizona not having been able to do much against Royals' starter James Shields. Eric Chavez and Mark Trumbo each drove in runs with hits, while Didi Gregorius walked with the bases loaded, and Corbin helped his own cause with a run-scoring groundout. [Kinda odd, he was then pulled before going back to the mound]. All told, we managed seven hits and three walks, with Pollock the only batter to reach more than once, on a hit and a walk. Andy Marte also made an error, and the crowd in attendance for this afternoon's game at SRF was 7,786.

It's the first of two games on consecutive days against the Oakland Athletics tomorrow, starting off again in Scottsdale. Trevor Cahill takes the mound for Arizona at 1:10pm.

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