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Arizona Diamondbacks 6, Arizona State Sun Devils 2: Undefeated

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Arizona Diamondbacks Photo Day Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The Diamondbacks got their spring training under way at Salt River Fields this afternoon, in a very low-key contest against the Arizona State Sun Devils. The game was tied at two after four innings, but the D-backs took advantage of some wildness later on, to pull away in the later stages of the seven-inning contest.

Even by the lax standards of spring training, it was definitely a third-tier line-up for Arizona, with Rey Fuentes the only starter to have more than 70 plate-appearances with the Diamondbacks last year. Taylor Clarke got the start, and faced the minimum in his inning of work, clearing up his own base-runner, with a pick-off after a two-out walk. Arizona then jumped out to a 2-0 lead, Christian Walker driving in two with his single scoring Ildemaro Vargas and Jeremy Hazelbaker. It was a short-lived lead, as Yuhei Nakaushiro allowed four line drives to the first four batters he faced, and a bases-loaded walk one out later, tied the game and ended Nakaushiro’s afternoon.

The rest of the D-backs’ bullpen was much better: six further pitchers combined for 5.2 shutout innings, holding the Sun Devils to one hit and two walks, with 12 strikeouts. Michael Dimock was the pick of the bunch, striking out the side on 13 pitches in the fourth inning. While Arizona had been held in check through four by Arizona State, the major-league team took the lead in the fifth on Tony Renda’s RBI triple. They then added three more in the sixth, on a single by Kevin Cron, and bases-loaded walks by Kevin Medrano and Marty Herum. They could have had more, but it looks like a D-backs’ batter hit out of turn, ending the frame with the bases loaded.

Walker had two hits and his two RBI, while Medrano and Herum each drew a pair of walks, as Arizona picked up nine free passes (eight walks and a HBP) compared to three strikeouts, and also stole three bases. Cesar Puello had a day to forget though, hitting into a double-play in both his at-bats, and catcher Michael Perez was charged with an error on a throw. There were 5,506 in attendance at Salt River Fields, and the D-backs have an off-day tomorrow, before Cactus League play proper gets under way on Friday. There, they’ll play SRF neighbors, the Colorado Rockies.