Record 3-2. Change on 2017: +1.
A good day for the Diamondbacks, who swept this afternoon’s split squad double-header. prevailing both over the Reds in Goodyear, and the Rockies at Salt River Fields. Starting off on the West side of the metropolis, Arizona beat Cincinnati 5-2, in a game started by Robbie Ray. He went two shutout innings, allowing no hit while striking out three. He faced the minimum, but was a little fortunate to do so. A one-out walk in the first went to third on a wild pick-off throw from Robbie, but the batter then lined into an inning-ending double-play. The second was better, with two K’s and a marvelous (by all accounts) Alex Avila catch of a foul ball.
It was generally a good afternoon for the D-backs pitchers on the road - or, at least, the only ones who gave up runs were those most people won’t know. We did get scoreless innings of work from Silvino Bracho and Andrew Chafin, the former looking particularly good in striking out the side swinging in the third. The offense made use of the long-ball, going deep for all but one of the runs. Alex Avila had his first home-run as a Diamondback to open the scoring in the second, and after a Kevin Cron single, Jeremy Hazelbaker also went deep that same inning. Cron then followed up with a no-doubter in the eighth. David Peralta and Nick Ahmed each reached base twice, with a hit and a walk.
The team enjoyed a similar three-run margin in the home leg, prevailing over Colorado at Salt River by a 7-4 margin. Braden Shipley was the Arizona starter there, throwing two scoreless inning on one hit, with no walks and one strikeout. Fernando Salas put up a zero in the third, but Jorge De La Rosa had difficulties in the fourth, allowing two hits and a walk in two-third of an inning, including a two-run homer off the bat of Nolan Arenado [I’m fairly sure he won’t be the last pitcher to be so rudely treated in 2018!] Prospect Taylor Clarke was likely the pick of the bunch, albeit against the Rockies’ B-roster: he struck out the side in the seventh, and finished with four K’s over two scoreless innings.
Goldschmidt happened for the first time this year, Paul taking a 2-2 pitch deep off something called a Harrison Musgrave. LF Cesar Puello doubled, singled and walked, driving in a pair, while Goldschmidt also had a single, scoring two runs. But we might want to work on controlling the running game a bit better, since Colorado went 6-for-6 in stolen base attempts, two against Chris Herrmann, then four off Michael Perez. Despite a five-run lead in the top of the ninth, things got a bit nervous, the tying run reaching the on-deck circle with one out. However, the D-backs held on, despite allowing a pair of runs, and the afternoon moves their Cactus League record back above the .500 mark.