One of the Arizona Diamondbacks’ newer additions — reliever Joakim Soria — made his Cactus League debut in Sunday’s tilt against the Chicago Cubs.
Soria signed a one-year deal with the D-backs in early February and is expected to take over as the team’s closer this season.
The 36-year-old spent the last two seasons with the Oakland Athletics. In 93 games (91.1 innings pitched), Soria sported a 3.94 ERA and three saves to go along with a 4-6 record.
In Sunday’s 5-4 win over the Cubs, Soria issued just one walk and no hits over the course of the fourth inning.
The veteran said it was good to be back on the bump, especially with fans in the stands, but added that he wants to continue working on his fastball pitch.
“Today, my command wasn’t as good as I would like but I know that I will get there,” Soria told reporters via Zoom. “With the new technology, everybody is looking at you with more details. You have to be able to perform to execute pitches the way that you’re supposed to.”
Righty Merrill Kelly wasn’t as sharp in his second start of spring, allowing three runs and one walk over three innings.
“I didn’t feel like I had the same amount life on the ball today,” Kelly said. “It was just kind of one of those days that’s a little off.”
After the Cubs took a 3-0 lead, Ketel Marte put the D-backs on the board with a one-run single in the bottom of the third inning. A two-run triple by Eduardo Escobar tied up the game.
Arizona took the lead in the fourth when Stephen Vogt hit a two-run homer into left field. The Cubs added a run in the seventh, but ultimately fell to the D-backs.
The D-backs made four roster moves Sunday.
Pitcher Bradley Roney, catcher Dominic Miroglio and infielders Drew Ellis and Christian Lopes were reassigned to Minor League camp.
“The guys that went sent out today made a very positive impression on us,” manager Torey Lovullo said. “We’ve just got to create some space because the innings that are played by some of the guys that we need to get ready are going to start to lengthen.”
With the roster moves, 61 players remain in Major League camp.
The D-backs take on the San Francisco Giants on Monday at 1:05 p.m.
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