Spring record: 5-5. Change on 2016: -1.5.
Taijuan Walker tossed three scoreless innings for the Diamondbacks this afternoon at Salt River Fields, as they evened their Cactus League mark. Walker was remarkably efficient today: he required only seven pitches for the first frame, then eight and eleven for the ones after that, so a mere 26 pitches in total, 19 for strikes. Taijuan retired the first seven batters faced, before a bloop single, which proved to be the only base-runner he allowed. No walks, as that implies, and a pair of strikeouts for him, with Walker sitting around 95 mph, occasionally touching 96.
Five of the six relievers who took things the rest of the way put up a zero, with the only run for the White Sox coming in the fifth, as Tom Wilhelmsen allowed a home-run and a walk. The most impressive outing was Enrique Burgos, who was the only reliever not to give up a hit, in his perfect sixth inning. But Jared Miller extended his scoreless streak, and there were also zeroes behind Kevin Jepsen, Evan Marshall and Jimmy Sherfy, who got the save and out of a jam after a one-out triple, retiring uber-prospect Yoan Moncada, and former Diamondback Matt Davidson.
Jake Lamb gave the Diamondbacks an early lead, doubling home Brandon Drury in the first inning to get Arizona on the board. The teams traded homers in the fifth inning: after the White Sox had tied it up, the D-backs responded immediately, Oswaldo Arcia leading off with a shot, his first in an Arizona jersey. Ildemaro Vargas also went deep to left center with two outs in the seventh, and the D-backs tacked on another run that inning. Singles by Domingo Leyba and Reymond Fuentes put men on the corners, and Leyba scored on a wild pitch by another former Diamondback, David Holmberg.
Chris Owings was the only Arizona batter to reach base more than once, with a single and a walk, and Fuentes was credited with a stolen-base on the Holmberg WP. Big crowd in attendance for this one, with 12,794 at Salt River Fields, another spring sell-out. Tomorrow sees the team heading out to Surprise, where they’ll take on the Kansas City Royals, with Robbie Ray the scheduled starter for Arizona.