Record: 9-7. Change on 2017: 0.
A three-run second inning off Taijuan Walker gave the Royals an early lead. He had a 1-2-3 first, but walked two of the first three batters faced the next time he took the mound. Both of those came around to score, as well as one more, Kansas City finding some two-out magic with three consecutive RBI hits. That ended Walker’s day, all three hits and two walks he allowed coming in the same frame. He didn’t have a K, throwing 41 pitches, with barely more than half (21) for strikes (he tossed another 15 in a post-game bullpen session). But the offense was undaunted. Jeff Mathis had a two-run single in the bottom of the second, then A.J. Pollock an RBI ground-out to tie the game right back up.
They’d then continue to score, adding a further seven runs on their way to victory. They took the lead in the third, a Ketel Marte ground-rule double scoring Yasmany Tomas. There was another three-run inning in the fifth: Kris Negron drove in two more with a double, and David Peralta added an RBI single. Arizona got a three-peat in the eighth, adding two RBI off the bat of Christian Walker, who then crossed home-plated courtesy of Socrates Brito. Peralta and Marte led the way overall, each getting three hits, while Mathis had two plus a walk, and scored twice. Tomas got a hit and a walk, keeping his spring average above the .400 mark, and Pollock stole his first and second bases of the pre-season.
Meanwhile, five members of the bullpen got it done, combining for seven shutout innings on what might four hits and three walks, with five strikeouts. Or maybe three hits and two walks. For the box-score shows T.J. McFarland as having allowed two hits and two walks in a scoreless seventh, but the play-by-play has only one of each. Guess we’ll have to wait for the replay starting at 6pm on Fox Sports Arizona, to be sure! [It’s spring training for scorers, too...] Before that, Albert Suarez and Matt Koch each tossed a pair of scoreless frames on one hit, with Joey Krehbiel and Jake Buchanan finishing things off, with zeroes in the eighth and ninth.
Breaking news! The D-backs spring ERA is no longer the worst in the majors! Today’s performance brought it down to 6.07, which is 27th. Progress... Tomorrow, the D-backs will be just up the road from SnakePit Towers, at Camelback Ranch to take on the White Sox, with Patrick Corbin starting there.