Record: 13-15-2. Change on 2017: -2.
The Diamondbacks should probably have won both games, and had to settle for a tie in the home leg of the split squad game. There, they allowed the Royals to score twice in the ninth inning, and escape with a 4-4 tie. The offending pitcher was Bradin Hagens, who gave up a two-run shot with one out in the ninth, costing Zack Godley a win he deserved. Zack had been very impressive in his final warm-up start, holding the Royals to two hits and one run, on a solo homer to Mike Moustakas, over seven innings. He walked one and struck out four, reducing his spring ERA to 2.21. T.J. McFarland got the first two outs of the eighth inning, but allowed a run before turning the ball over to Hagens,
The Diamondbacks offense also left it late, scoring only once through the first six innings, on a sacrifice fly by the wonderfully-named Junior Querecuto. As yesterday, this game saw the rise of the “unknown” Diamondbacks, with Arizona prospects being responsible for all the RBI. Our first-round pick last June, Pavin Smith, had a ground-rule double in the seventh, then Jose Vinicio added a two-run triple in the eighth. Paul Goldschmidt and Camden Duzenack each had a single and a walk for Arizona. Yasmany Tomas recorded an outfield assist, but there were a pair of pick-offs, including Jeff Mathis of all people, and Querecuto made an error.
Further south in Tempe, the bats finally came alive, the offense taking advantage of Angels wildness (nine walks), to score 15 runs on 13 hits. Former D-back Tyler Skaggs started for LA, but he issued five free passes in three innings. It was a seven-run fifth which did the damage, however, all the runs scoring with two outs, and capped by a three-run homer for Chris Herrmann. He, Ketel Marte and J.R. Murphy each had two hits, Murphy also walking, while Nick Ahmed reached base four times on a hit and three walks, driving in three runs. However, there were three errors committed this afternoon, by Herrmann, Ahmed and Marty Herum
At one point, the D-backs had a 13-1 lead here, but the B-pitchers allowed the Angels to make the score respectable. Kris Medlen pitched well, allowing only an unearned run over 3.1 hitless innings: he walked two and struck out one. Michael Blazek recorded five scoreless outs, but things melted down a bit from there. Ryan Atkinson was charged with six runs in an inning of work: he, Kirby Bellow and Joey Krehbiel combined to allow seven hits and five walks over 3.2 innings, as Los Angeles scored eight times. It could have been worse, but Mason McCullough recorded the final out in the ninth, with the bases full of Angels. Still, the win’s the thing!
The final game at Salt River Fields tomorrow afternoon, as we take on (who else?) the Colorado Rockies. Taylor Clarke is the starter for Arizona in that one.