Record: 10-3-1. Change on 2015: +3.
Let's start with Robbie Ray, however, even though he did concede his first runs of spring, allowing two in the third after first running his streak to seven scoreless innings. However, you could argue that those tallies were not really down to Ray: The first White Sox run was driven in by a broken-bat bloop, scoring former Diamondback Adam Eaton, who had advanced into scoring position as the result of an error by Ray. And the second came home on what perhaps should have been an inning-ending double-play. However, Ray still became the first D-backs starter to pitch into the fifth, going 4.2 innings on four hits and two walks, with three strikeouts and two runs allowed.
By the time the home team got on the board, however, this game was close to over as a meaningful contest, since Aruzona were 8-0 up in the middle of the third. Even without the likes of Paul Goldschmidt and A.J. Pollock, the D-backs offense continues to pound the ball, delivering notional free spring tacos for the 8th consecutive day (offer doesn't actually exist, but involves scoring five or more runs in at least one game played). Today, it was the long-ball which did the damage, a trio of home-runs being responsible for eight RBI: Peter O'Brien took over the team lead with his second and third, driving in five, and Carlos Rivero added a three-run shot, his first, in the seventh.
Also outstanding on offense was Ricke Weeks Jr., who went 3-for-4 with a double and two runs scored, to get his batting average for spring up to the .500 mark. He started in left-field, and if we end up having to start the year with Pollock or Yasmany Tomas on the DL, then both O'Brien and Weeks seem to be making credible cases for why they should be given an outfielder spot. Welington Castillo, DHing this afternoon, also reached base twice with a double and a walk, driving in and scoring a pair, to put his spring OPS at 1.559. Overall, the team's 96 runs and .884 OPS are the best in the major this spring. I hope they save some of this for the regular season...
After Ray left for the day, Evan Marshall, Enrique Burgos and Jake Barrett all tossed scoreless innings of relief, but prospect Daniel Gibson was tagged for a two-run home-run in the seventh innings, to keep his spring ERA at an ugly-looking 32.40. Burgos and Marshall both faced the minimum in their frames, and there were the first stolen-bases of spring for Jean Segura and Phil Gosselin.
Tomorrow sees Zack Greinke make his third spring start, taking on the Mariners at Salt River Fields with a 1:10pm first pitch - like Ray coming into today, Greinke did not allow an earned run over his first two outings.