Record: 11-13-2. Change on 2018: -0.5. 5-inning record: 11-11-4.
It’s probably a fair assessment to say that sitting back and waiting for a three-run homer is likely to prove a successful tactic, providing you hit them about every third inning. So it proved for the D-backs at Camelback Ranch today, anyway. Catcher Alex Avila hit the first such blast in the fourth inning, then followed up with another three-run shot two innings later. And LF-CF Alex Thomas capped things off with the last of the trio in the ninth inning. Making that one particularly sweet? His dad is the White Sox conditioning director, Allen Thomas, and was in the opposite dugout when his some went deep.
Mount Carmel grad Alek Thomas and his dad, Sox conditioning director Allen Thomas (left), after the dbacks prospect homered vs. Sox pitcher Lucas Giolito. Nice work by NBCSCH. pic.twitter.com/y8kz3zMC5V— Daryl Van Schouwen (@CST_soxvan) March 20, 2019
Needless to say, those at-bats alone would have been more than enough to win most games. But the D-backs managed 13 other hits today, apart from those three. Outside of Avila, there were also two-hit games for 3B-2B Ildemaro Vargas, 1B Christian Walker, RF Steven Souza Jr and LF-RF Matt Szczur. Avila now leads the Diamondbacks with three home-runs this spring, is batting .304 and has an OPS of 1.066. #SuckItHaterz. Here, for your viewing pleasure, are both of his bombs. Hopefully it carries over into the regular season. For what it’s worth, Avila had as many home-runs and more RBI this afternoon, as he had in his first forty-four games combined last season. through June 17...
With this offensive outburst, the pitching didn’t need to be very good to get the W. However, it was. Luke Weaver was a late scratch, and so Taylor Widener got his first start of spring. He was everything you could have wanted and more: he retired all nine White Sox batters faced, with a trio of strikeouts. Robby Scott kept it going with a perfect fourth, Archie Bradley got all five men he faced, and Yoan Lopez struck out his batter to give Arizona six perfect innings: 18 up, 18 down. That ended when the first batter Lopez faced in the seventh homered, but after Sam Lewis and Kevin McCanna performed mop-up in a winning cause, Arizona pitchers had faced only three batters over the minimum.
All told, a very solid performance, just what we want to see as we head towards the end of spring training. It’s back to Salt River Fields tomorrow for the Angels and their newly-minted 0.43 Billion Dollar Man, Mike Trout. Merrill Kelly is the expected D-backs’ starter.