Record: 7-3-1. Change on 2015: +1.
The Diamondbacks offense hit early and hit often, pulling to a 7-0 lead after the first three innings at Surprise Stadium. That was more than enough, on a day where Patrick Corbin looked in mid-season form, and the only thing standing between him and rest of the pitching staff was a wobbly eighth inning from Matt Koch. A David Peralta RBI single got Arizona under way with two outs in the first, and that advantage was multiplied four-fold on consecutive homers by Nick Ahmed (a two-run shot) and Evan Marzilli in the second,. Chris Herrmann then one-upped even Ahmed, with a three-run homer in the third.
Meanwhile, Patrick Corbin was looking good, becoming the third potential D-backs starter to go five scoreless innings at the beginning of spring, following up the two scoreless innings from his first outing with three more here. He allowed two hits, no walks and struck out a batter. Tyler Clippard followed, working out of a jam after putting the first two batters faced on base, and we then saw further scoreless innings from Daniel Hudson (a perfect fifth with a pair of strikeouts) and Randall Delgado, who fanned three over his two frames of work, also doing a good job of putting out his own fire in the seventh after starting there with a single and a walk.
Koch was entrusted with the final two frames, but struggled in the eighth, as the Royals scored all three of their runs, Koch was tagged with five hits but walked none and struck out one. The offense, however, got those three runs back in the top of the ninth, on a Gabriel Guerrero RBI double and pair of RBI groundouts. Plenty of hits to go around, with five different Diamondbacks getting two apiece: Chris Owings, Jake Lamb, Herrmann, Ahmed and Marzilli, Kyle Jensen drew walks in both of his plate appearances, and David Peralta got a walk and a hit. Owings stole a base too, though was also caught stealing.
All round, this was likely the most solid performance of the Cactus League so far, and it was good to see the team scoring early, and against the likes of Chris Young and Joakim Soria, so it's not as if Arizona padded the score against Royals' prospects. Tomorrow sees a split double-header, with Rubby De La Rosa starting at home against these self-same Royals, while Archie Bradley will pitch for the "road" half of the roster, against the San Francisco Giants at Scottsdale Stadium. Both games get under way shortly after 1pm and are on MLB.TV, with the Giants contest also airing on Fox Sports Arizona.