And then the fifth inning happened.
Record: 4-7-1. Five-inning record: 5-6-1.
A well-pitched game by the Arizona Diamondbac… Oh, hang on. Make that “A generally well-pitched game” – in particular, if you had to pop out of the house and run an errand during the bottom of the fifth inning. Because that was when Joakim Soria was tagged for four earned runs, on three hits, a walk, and a pair of wild pitches. He had to be mercy-ruled out of the frame, recording only two genuine outs. Admittedly, the first WP came on a dropped third strike which should have been an out. But the single, two RBI double and two-run homer which followed? Yeah. This was not the sort of outing to inspire confidence in Mike Hazen’s latest veteran relief signing.
This was a Zac Gallen start, and he extended his spring scoreless streak to 8.1 innings, with a further 3.1 frames this afternoon. This wasn’t without its moments of static, in particular the second where two singles and a walk loaded the bases, before Gallen was able to strand them. He gave up three hits and a walk with four strikeouts, and hard to complain, when the K’s were of Mike Trout, Jared Walsh, Dexter Fowler and Anthony Rendon. However, the best pitching line – albeit against lesser opposition – was a much-needed good outing by Riley Smith. He tossed three innings of one hit ball, with no walks and five strikeouts. Keury Mella, back with the team, got the final two outs in the fourth after Gallen departed.
The offense were shut out through the front five innings, though had their chances, to put it mildly. None were more blatantly spurned than in the fourth, where walks to Josh Rojas and Christian Walker, followed by a bloop single from Eduardo Escobar, loaded the bases for the D-backs with no outs. But Asdrubal Cabrera could only pop out, followed by strikeouts from Carson Kelly and Daulton Varsho. My, how the comments about “mid-season form” flowed in the Gameday Thread. All told, the D-backs were 2-for-12 with RISP, and one of those didn’t score a run.
Arizona did get on the board with Escobar’s second homer of spring, leading off the sixth. And two more runs scored in the seventh, as Geraldo Perdomo finally broke the curse of RISP, with a single. Escobar had two of Arizona’s six hits, while Kelly and Varsho each drew a pair of walks. Tomorrow, the team heads to the west side, and Peoria, where they will take on the Padres. Josh Green gets the start, presumably as we continue to avoid using starters against our division rivals. It’s another 1:10 pm game, ans is also on Fox Sports Arizona.
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