Cactus League record: 11-9. Change on 2016: -4.5.
Let’s begin at Hohokam, where Archie Bradley turned in his best performance of spring, to keep his hopes of the fifth starter’s spot alive. He allowed one run over five innings of work, holding the Athletics’ line-up to five hits. Archie walked none, and struck out two, with the only damage being a lead-off homer in the fourth inning. The bullpen was solid enough too, allowing a run on four hits over their four frames of work. Evan Marshall gave up a run in the sixth, but Braden Shipley stranded two there, then worked a scoreless seventh, before Zack Godley picked up the save with a pair of scoreless inning, striking out three.
The D-backs were actually outhit 9-8 by the Athletics, but got the only hit of the day with runners in scoring position. That came in the first inning, when Chris Owings tripled, scoring both Brandon Drury and Jake Lamb. Arizona’s other run came in the fifth, when Drury doubled home Chris Herrmann, but was out at third. Drury had a good day, with three hits, getting his spring average up to .459. Owings had two hits, and Lamb a hit and a walk, as did Stewart Ijames. Evan Marzilli stole a base. Good patience from the hitters here, drawing six walks against seven strikeouts, while the pitchers had a K:BB ratio of 6:0.
Things were not quite as effective over at Salt River Fields, though Shelby Miller (below) recorded 80% of his outs this afternoon by the strikeout. He took 73 pitches to get through 3.1 innings, but gave up one run on three hits and two walks, with eight strikeouts. That’s kinda impressive, but it was a Mariners’ split-squad line-up he was facing. Grant Sides, Andrew Chafin, T.J. McFarland and Matt Koch took things from there to the eighth - Koch tossed two scoreless, McFarland allowed a run. But Yuhei Nakaushiro had a horrific outing. Six batters faced, one retired, and a grand-slam allowed, as Seattle got a seven-run ninth and overturned a 5-2 deficit.
Gregor Blanco got two hits, stole a base and scored twice out of the lead-off spot for the D-backs, Domingo Leyba also had two hits and Jack Reinheimer drew a pair of walks. It wasn’t enough to save either man, however, as after the game, both players were optioned to Double-A Jackson and Triple-A Reno respectively. Ildemaro Vargas got his papers too, and was assigned to Reno. Tomorrow sees the team take on the Netherlands World Baseball Classic squad, and we’ll be in attendance at SRF for BruteSquadSnakePitSpringTrainingFest. Looks like we’ll get to see Zack Greinke pitching, so radar guns at the ready...