Record: 8-8-2. Change on 2018: 0. 5-inning record: 8-7-3.
Early on at Goodyear, the D-backs struggled against Tanner Roark. He struck out the side in the first, and has six K’s through three. But in the fourth, LF Abraham Almonte led off with a single; one out later, DH Yasmany Tomas banged one off the wall for a long single, and C Caleb Joseph hit his first home-run of spring. That three-run shot was all the offense the D-backs would get, managing just three baserunners outside the inning, Tomas later adding a double. But it was all they would need. Merrill Kelly was a great deal better in his third spring outing. Indeed, he tossed four hitless innings, facing one over the minimum on two walks and four K’s. RF Andrew Aplin helped, doubling a runner off from the outfield.
Greg Holland’s spring struggles continued: another inning, another run allowed on two hits. Mark Rzepczynski and Jimmie Sherfy tossed scoreless innings, the latter fanning two of the three batters faced. But Stefan Crichton let the Reds get within one in the eighth, setting up a nervous ninth for the Diamondbacks. An error and single put the first two men on against Daniel Gibson, before a bunt put the tying run on third with one down. However, Gibson coaxed a weak ground-ball to the catcher, and the man on third was retired in a rundown, then clinched the save in the 3-2 victory, with a fly-ball to center.
South of the border, Arizona’s pitchers got it done, allowing only a pair of unearned runs in the 5-2 victory over Colorado. the teams traded runs in the first. A sacrifice fly off Matt Koch gave the Rockies the lead, after a three-base error by LF Tim Locastro. But Koch settled in. allowing only one hit and no more runs over four innings, with no walks and three strikeouts. Nick Green was also not helped by the defense, allowing an unearned run over three frames, on two hits and two walks, with one strikeout. And Braden Shipley looked as good as he has all spring, working a six-out save with two perfect innings, striking out four of the six batters faced.
3B Eduardo Escobar tied the game up in the bottom of the first with an RBI double, and another double from Escobar led to the D-backs taking the lead in the third. 1B Kevin Cron’s second home-run of spring made it 3-1 in the fourth, though it was his error which let the Rockies score in the sixth inning. But just when it was looking as if this score might mirror the one in Goodyear, SS Ildemaro Vargas added a pair of insurance with his first homer of the pre-season in the bottom of the eighth. He and Escobar each had a pair of hits and drove in two runs for Arizona. And, hey! Kelby Tomlinson finally got his first hit, doubling in the fourth... and was thrown out trying to make it a triple. He’s batting .059 in spring.
After a busy weekend, the D-backs get to enjoy a well-deserved off-day tomorrow. They resume Cactus League play on Tuesday night against the Rangers at Salt River Fields.