Diamondbacks 8, Athletics 8: The Eight Escape

World famous Budweiser Clydesdales here at SRF. - @GubnuhDbacks, via Twitter

Ah, the tie. One of the quirks of spring traning and meaningless baseball is that it's possible for games to end in a tie. Something not seen in MLB since... er, the 2002 All-Star Game. No thanks to Trevor Cahill, however.

Record: 5-5-1. Change on 2013: 0.

The good run of performances by Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitchers came to a grinding halt today, as Trevor Cahill was treated very rudely by his former team-mates on the Oakland Athletics. A five-hit first inning allowed by Cahill, resulting in three runs, was just the start of an afternoon he'd like to forget. He actually went one-third on an inning less than his previous outing, going just three frames - though so many of them ended up getting on base, he did end up facing three more batters. I guess that kinda counts as stretching himself out. He was charged with six runs, all earned, on eight hits, two of them homers, with four strikeouts. He did walk none. So there's that...

However, right from the first inning, where the sides combined for 10 hits and seven runs, it was clearly going to be one of those back-and-forth affairs. The Athletics coughed up a pair of three-run leads, being ahead 3-0 and 7-4, while the D-backs also lost the lead twice, at 4-3 and 8-7, so I guess a tie was a fair result all told. Arizona hit back with a four-run first of their own, after the first quarter of D-backs all got hits. Martin Prado inevitably had the big blow, with a two-run double, and there were also RBI for Gerardo Parra and Matt Tuiasosopo, as Arizona stormed back to take the lead.

It didn't last, courtesy of Cahill, with a lead-off homer in the second tying things up, and Oakland added two more in the third. Joe Thatcher came on in relief, and didn't fair a great deal better, allowing a run on a walk and double, before Josh Collmenter calmed things down, retiring all four batters he faced. Ryan Rowland-Smith, J.J. Putz and Zeke Spruill each followed with zeroes of greater or lesser comfort, e.g. J.J. put the first two on he faced in the seventh, before rebounding with a pair of strikeouts, but Rowland-Smith notched his first pickoff.

Arizona had scored in the fifth, Tony Campana walking, stealing second and then coming home on a Parra single, then took the lead back again with a three-run eighth. Jake Lamb homered with one out, and after Nick Evans singled, Alfredo Marte followed with a two-run shot, scoring the tying and go-ahead runs. Jake Barrett came on for the save with the D-backs now 8-7 up, but allowed a leadoff triple. While he struck out the next guy, a sacrifice fly tied things up once more. Neither side could score in the extra inning, Evan Marshall working a 1-2-3 inning for us, and the teams shook hands and left the field, looking for a sister to kiss.

Campana had a good day at the top of the order, getting on base three times with two hits and a walk, stealing a base and scoring twice. Parra also had a pair of hits and his first stolen base of spring, driving in two runs, but Nick Ahmed was caught stealing second to end the ninth inning. The same two sides will go at it again tomorrow, this time over at Phoenix Muni, with Wade Miley leading the pack of pitchers for Arizona, and Scott Kazmir going for the Athletics.

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