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Arizona Diamondbacks 5, Los Angeles Angels 6: The return of Ray v.2016

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Remember when Robbie Ray had problems with walks and throwing too many pitches?

Arizona Diamondbacks v Los Angeles Dodgers Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images

Record 12-12-1. Change on 2017: -2.

It looked like the D-backs might nick this one, scoring twice in the top of the ninth to break a 3-3 tie. Marty Herum and Ben DeLuzio each had RBI hits, to give Arizona a two-run edge. But Josh Taylor wasn’t able to get it done, allowing the Angels to tie things up and put the winning run on third, without retiring a batter. One out later, Bud Jeter gave up the walk-off hit, and the D-backs’ record dropped back to .500.

Robbie Ray wasn’t getting much help from the home-plate umpire, but was also struggling badly with his control. He only lasted 2.2 innings, and took 70-odd pitches to get that far, with no less than five walks allowed, in addition to two hits and two strikeouts. He was kinda lucky only to allow two runs. The Angels left six men on base over those three frames, including Mike Trout flying out with the bases loaded in the second. According to Zack Buchanan, “Ray said he was pulled early because he threw too many pitches per inning. Really fought his command, but thinks it’s a quick fix.” He will probably have one more start before the season.

Speaking after the game, Lovullo said the plan is for that to happen on regular rest, which would appear to rule Ray out for Opening Day. So questions of where he’ll enter the rotation and who starts Opening Day, remain open. Our pitching from there to the ninth was good, four relievers combining for 5.2 innings, allowing one run on four hits and a walk, with eight K’s Pick of the bunch was probably Colin Poche, who struck out four over his two frames. The run was charged to Yoshihisa Hirano, who served up a home-run in the fifth, though also struck out a pair. Michael Blazek appeared in his team-leading tenth Cactus League game, and threw 1.2 innings without allowing a hit; Keegan Long added a scoreless eighth.

On offense, Arizona were kept off the scoreboard until A.J. Pollock and Steven Souza homered in the sixth; the latter was a two-run shot, though Souza also had an error. Ketel Marte had two hits and a walk. Tomorrow sees the D-backs play host to the Giants. Zack Greinke was originally scheduled to start that one, but he will now throw in a back-field game instead, with the aim of reaching around 60 pitches, per Lovullo. Wednesday’s starter is still to be announced.