Record: 1-2. Change on 2016: -1.
That’s better. After a couple of shaky outing from our pitching and offense respectively, the D-backs put things together this afternoon, on a sprinkly and moist day at Salt River Fields. Admittedly, they were helped significantly by some extremely sloppy Reds defense, with Cincinnati committing four errors, leading to four of the six runs Arizona scored being unearned. But we’ll take it.
Things were helped by a solid pair of outings from starting pitcher Patrick Corbin, and piggy-back starter Anthony Banda. Corbin could hardly have asked for a better start in his firmly-expressed bid to get back into the Diamondbacks rotation, facing the minimum six batters over his two innings of work, with three strikeouts. The only batter who reached base came to lead off the first inning, when the speedy Billy Hamilton drew a full-count walk. But Corbin got the next batter to hit into a double-play, then struck out the next three Reds, and finished with a groundout. He threw 28 pitches, 19 for strikes.
Banda’s outing was, if anything, fractionally more impressive. He also faced the minimum and struck out three as well, but didn’t allow any baserunners, retiring all six men he saw, and was sitting mid-90’s. I would not mind at all if he makes the decision about the back end of our rotation as difficult as possible. J.J. Hoover, Kevin Matusz and Andrew Chafin followed with scoreless innings, each recording one strikeout. Good to see Chafin back, and facing the minimum. New guy Frank Duncan did lose the shutout bid, giving up a run on three hits in the eighth inning, but Erik Davis closed out the game with a zero in the ninth. Particularly impressive this afternoon: a K:BB ratio for us of 10:1.
As noted, the Diamondbacks were able to capitalize on Reds errors, scoring twice in the second inning and again in the fifth, as a result of them kicking the ball around. In the second, Arismendy Alcantara’s dual gaffes, around a wild pitch, helped first Yasmany Tomas, then Ketel Marte cross home-plate. And in the fifth, another error let Kristopher Negron reach leading off, and he scored later on in the inning, courtesy of an RBI single from David Peralta. There was no doubt about our final talllies, all three of which came in the eighth on a three-run homer by Reymond Fuentes - but even there, one of those runners was aboard due to another Cincinnati error.
Arizona managed to score six runs on only four hits and a pair of walks, which is pretty good efficiency, I’d say! Aside from Fuentes’s bomb and Peralta’s single, the other two knocks came from Jeremy Hazelbaker and Oscar Hernandez, with the free passes being earned by A.J. Pollock and Ketel Marte. A relatively light crowd, 5,114, at Salt River Field for this one. First “true” road game tomorrow, the D-backs heading up to Surprise to take on the Texas Rangers. That will be the Diamondbacks’ debut for Taijuan Walker. Here’s manager Torey Lovullo (via @FoxSportsAZ) after today’s win: