Some big scores posted around the Cactus League this afternoon. The Royals scored 12 against the Padres, the Rockies put up an eight-spot off Shohei Ohtani and the Angels, on their way to a 18-6 win, while the Brewers and Reds both reached well into double-digits in their match-up, combining for 29 runs and 37 hits. But there was none of that at Salt River Fields, the D-backs all but shutting down the Dodgers, with a solo home-run off Michael Blazek the only tally they managed. Matt Koch continued to make a strong case for the sixth starter spot, throwing three shutout innings against a strong LA line-up on a pair of hits, with no walks and a strikeout. He lowered his spring ERA to 1.59.
Koch and five relievers held the Dodgers to five hits and four walks, with the Cody Bellinger homer the only knock going for extra bases. The only time Los Angeles really threatened to break out was in the seventh. Kris Medlen suddenly lost all control with two outs, issuing two walks around a hit batter to load the bases. But he recovered to strike out Corey Seager looking, then worked a 1-2-3 eighth. Joey Krehbiel got the save, albeit only after the first two batters reached base, on single and a walk, bringing the tying run to the plate with no outs. He recovered to retire the next three batters, and the D-backs’ pitching staff lowered their collective spring ERA a little further.
The Arizona offense was kept in check too, only managing five hits. A three-run third inning was all the offense they would need, beginning with an RBI groundout from A.J. Pollock, followed by a double down the line in right from Jake Lamb, which scored two runs. Rey Fuentes became the fourth and final run, his leadoff triple in the eighth, coming home on a sacrifice fly by Cesar Puello. Lamb had a walk in addition to his hit, as did Kris Negron. On the downside, Ketel Marte made his third error of spring, and Steven Souza committed an embarrassing TOOTBLAN, being deked into too wide a turn at first-base by The Puig, and thrown out before he could get back.
Tomorrow, the Diamondbacks welcome the Padres to Salt River, with Ryan Atkinson apparently the scheduled starter for Arizona.