D-backs game report: Saturday, March 29
Cubs 9, Diamondbacks 8
Game recap: Bronson Arroyo threw 77 pitches in 5 2/3 innings of his final spring appearance, his second start in a major league game after being delayed because of back soreness early in camp. The Cubs got six hits off Arroyo, all singles, and two runs, but Arroyo looked comfortable and appears ready to make his first scheduled start April 3 in the final game of a four-game series against the Giants at Chase Field. The D-backs finished their 17th spring training with a record of 12-13 and will open the U.S. portion of the regular season Monday, when Brandon McCarthy goes against left-hander Madison Bumgarner.
Hitting notes: Tony Campana and Cliff Pennington had two hits apiece after entering the game as reserves, and Pennington had RBI singles in the sixth and seventh innings when the D-backs took the lead. … Campana finished the spring 7 for 7 on stolen base attempts. … Starters Aaron Hill, Paul Goldschmidt and Chris Owings had singles.
Pitching notes: Arroyo made his third consecutive appearance on four days’ rest after a simulated game March 19 and a minor league game March 24. He has never been scratched from a start in his career, and it appears he will keep that streak intact. … Joe Thatcher did what a lefty specialist is expected to do, retiring left-handed hitting Chris Coghlan on a weak grounder to third baseman Eric Chavez to end the fifth inning with runners on first and third and two out.
Short hops: Cody Ross, who will open the season on the disabled list, will begin a rehab assignment at Class AAA Reno when they open the season April 3, and Ross could stay there for the Aces’ season-opening eight-game homestand. Ross has about 70 at-bats in camp and games this spring, and manager Kirk Gibson said he looks great at the plate but remains a little apprehensive on the bases. … Gibson got the D-backs a run after challenging play on which Mike Jacobs was called out at the plate in an eventual six-run seventh inning. Jacobs made a nice hook slide, and the umpires reversed the decision after seeing that Jacobs got around a swipe tag at the plate to give Arizona an 8-6 lead. … Buck O’Neil award winner Joe Garagiola Sr. will throw out the first pitch in the D-backs’ home opener Monday.