Early on, this looked like it was going to be a nice, comfortable blowout with the Diamondbacks scoring twice in the first and three more times in the second, to take an early 5-0 lead. They took advantage of some Wildcat sloppiness with a pair of unearned tallies in the first inning, David Peralta getting Arizona on the board with an RBI groundout, and Peter O'Brien following up with a sacrifice fly. The D-backs then stretched their lead further in the second, courtesy of a Chris Owings RBI single, another sacrifice fly by Jake Lamb, and our fifth run coming home on an error by the U of A third-baseman (I nearly said Arizona 3B, which would have been true, but confusing!).
So, 5-0 up after two, and Matt Koch had been solid, allowing a hit and a walk over his two scoreless innings, with one strikeout. But enter Dominic Leone and Matt Stites, and exit the Diamondbacks lead. Between them, they faced 11 batters and retired only four, allowing six hits and a walk over their 1.1 innings of work, though in Stites's defense, all three hits he allowed were infield ones. Still, by the time Cody Hall finally got the final out, we had a ballgame again, despite Gabby Guerrero apparently showcasing a cannon of an arm and nearly succeeding in nailing the tying run at the plate.
By now, almost all D-backs known to the casual observer had left the game, with Phil Gosselin the only name left that most would recognize. However, the B-boys came through, Guerrero giving the Diamondbacks the lead again, with an RBI double, and was immediately followed by the first home-run of the season, a two-run shot by Zach Borenstein. Brandon Drury added a pinch-hit double later in the inning, and the home team scored three more in the fifth, highlighted by another two-run homer, this one off the bat of Oscar Hernandez, after another RBI double, this one by Borenstein.
Tim Stauffer, Kaleb Fleck and Keith Hessler combined for three shutout innings of relief, each man striking out a pair in their frame. Borenstein probably got the MVP for this one, going 2-for-2 with a double, a home-run and three RBI. Owings also had a pair of hits out of the leadoff spot, and it's good to see him hitting the ground running. Or running into the ground, hitting.... Tomorrow's game is the Cactus League opener against the Colorado Rockies, with a 1:10pm first pitch, and Rubby De La Rosa starting for the Diamondbacks. That game will be broadcast on ESPN Phoenix 620.