Record: 1-0. Change on 2015: 0.
Last year, Cactus League play began with a 6-2 victory over the Colorado Rockies at Salt River Fields, and it almost proved the same this afternoon. After falling behind, Rubby De La Rosa allowing two runs in his first inning of work, the Diamondbacks scored three in the fourth to retake the lead, and then three more in the sixth for the final margin of victory, in front of a crowd of 6,147.
If De La Rosa was supposed to be staking his claim for the fourth spot in the rotation, he didn't appear to have got the memo, particularly in that opening inning. He gave up three consecutive hits to put Colorado on the board, and an RBI groundout from former Diamondback Gerardo Parra made it 2-0 to the "home" team after one inning. De La Rosa settled down in the second inning, retiring the Rockies in order, to end the day with a two inning stint, allowing two runs on three hits with a strikeout.
He was followed to the mound by Archie Bradley, who apparently had got the memo about battling for his spot, and worked two solid innings. After a walk to the first batter he faced, Bradley then retired the next six hitters, including a pair of strikeouts: reports have him throwing 95-96 mph, and his fastball had "life on it", according to catcher Welington Castillo. The rest of our pitchers were mostly solid as well. Jake Barrett, Adam Loewen, Wesley Wright and Sam LeCure each threw a scoreless inning with a K. Matt Buschmann did struggle in the seventh, loading the bases with no outs, but a double-play limited the damage to one run.
Meanwhile, let's pause here to over-react wildly to meaningless sample sizes. Jean Segura is clearly a perfect fit for the leadoff spot this year, going by his perfect 3-for-3 there this afternoon. I'm sure that 1.000 BABIP is thoroughly sustainable. Sarcasm aside, it was actually a good first impression for Segura, though we have to remember, few things are as empty as spring training stats. However, I'd rather see our batters hit in spring, than not. Also hitting: Welington Castillo, who had our first Cactus League homer, in the fourth. CF Evan Marzilli also had two hits, and 1B Kyle Jensen a two-run shot in the sixth.
It's the Colorado Rockies again tomorrow, albeit with Arizona being the "home" club this time! Robbie Ray will be the scheduled starter, as the D-backs seek to remain unbeaten in 2016.