Spring record: 1-1. Change on 2018: 0. Five-inning record: 1-0-1.
Usually, it’s said that pitchers are a little bit ahead of hitters at the beginning of spring training, because they’ve already been in camp slightly longer. There wasn’t much evidence of that around spring training today. Of the sixteen games, only three saw both teams scoring fewer than eight runs, with nine different teams reaching double-digits. One of those was the Diamondbacks, who blasted their way past the Indians in Goodyear, scoring twelve runs on fifteen hits. Not bad going, considering that the starting line-up featured only Wilmer Flores among those considered locks for a roster spot.
Arizona got off to a fast start, scoring twice in the top of the first before making an out, on RBI doubles by SS Ildemaro Vargas and 1B Christian Walker. ’A groundout brought home a third run in the frame, and the D-backs never looked back. Walker added a two-run homer in the third, and Flores an RBI single in the fourth. The Diamondbacks brought four more across in the sixth, highlighed by CF Abraham Almonte’s two-run double. C Daulton Varsho iced things with a two-run homer in the ninth. Walker and his fore-arms (pictured above) led the offense, with two hits and four RBI. There were also two-hit afternoons for Vargas and Flores, the latter adding a walk, and C John Ryan Murphy had a pair of free passes.
Robbie Ray had a bit of a rough first inning, loading the bases on a hit and two walks before eventually escaping unscathed, striking out Brandon Barnes. That did drive up his pitch count, and he was lifted after retiring the lead-off hitter in the second. He finished the day with 1.1 scoreless innings, on a hit and two walks with a pair of strikeouts. Robby Scott’s debut in an Arizona uniform was a bit rough, allowing three hits and a run in the fourth inning. but that was all the Indians would manage until Troy Scribner surrendered a two-run shot in the bottom of the ninth. Taylor Widener tossed two scoreless frames on one hit, with three K’s; Yoan Lopez, Kevin Ginkel and Braden Shipley each put up a zero.
All told, a very satisfactory afternoon. Tomorrow, it’s back to Salt River Fields, where the Oakland A’s are the visitors. Zack Greinke is expected to make his first appearance of 2019 for the D-backs.