Record: 7-10-4. Five-inning record: 10-8-3.
Taylor Clarke looked very good in his penultimate outing before the regular season gets under way. He worked four scoreless innings, on two hits and no walks. Throwing an economical 47 pitches, his only glitch was a two-out triple in the fourth, which Daulton Varsho could perhaps have done better handling. But Clarke recovered to finish the afternoon with his second strikeout. The parade of zeroes then continued, courtesy of Kevin Ginkel, Jeremy Beasley, Stefan Crichton and Joe Mantiply.
Miguel Aguilar had enjoyed a good spring, with some discussion of the non-roster invitee taking Tyler Clippard's 40-man roster spot. But he looked less than impressive in the ninth, two walks being followed by a double which ended the shutout bid and a two-run single to pull Chicago back within one. Up until then, the team had done a good job of throwing strikes, with Ginkel's lead-off walk the only one through eight frames. Keury Mella replaced Aguilar, and got the second out, but then surrendered a full-count RBI double which tied the game.
The D-backs failed in their final chance, Josh VanMeter, Jamie Ritchie and Wyatt Mathisen striking out, on a total of 11 pitches, to secure another tie. The offense again proved generally unclutch, going 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position. However, they still pushed four runs across, two apiece in the fifth and sixth innings. After loading the bases in the former, productive outs by Pavin Smith and David Peralta each brought in a run. Then, next time up, Nick Ahmed hit his first home-run of spring, above, a two-run shot. There were two hits apiece for Varsho (much needed, given his spring struggles) and Asdrubal Cabrera.
Tomorrow, Zac Gallen goes on the road to face the Athletics, with a 1:05 first pitch. Anybody care to bet against another tie?