D-backs game report: Wednesday, March 26
Game recap: In his final tuneup of the spring before starting the D-backs’ home opener Monday, Brandon McCarthy looked sharp and the D-backs used 14 runs on 20 hits to beat the Cubs. The D-backs took a 1-0 lead in the second inning against Jeff Samardzija but fell behind when McCarthy allowed two runs in the fourth. The D-backs answered in their half of the fourth with Samardzija out of the game, tagging Chris Rusin for two runs on Mark Trumbo’s second homer of the spring. The D-backs added two more in the fifth inning to pad their lead before building it even further with three home runs off Rusin in the sixth inning and three runs over their final two frames.
Hitting notes: A.J. Pollock’s second inning sacrifice fly gave the D-backs an early 1-0 lead. . . . Miguel Montero singled in the fourth inning, setting up Trumbo’s shot, which barely got out by hitting the top of the right-field fence. . . . Paul Goldschmidt doubled in a run in the fifth and scored on a Martin Prado single. Shortstop Chris Owings hit his first home run of the spring, taking Rusin deep to left field for three runs. Minor leaguer Jordan Parraz followed two batters later with a home run of his own to give the D-backs a 9-3 lead, and Mike Jacobs crushed a ball deep to center to chase Rusin, who allowed nine runs on 10 hits. Henry Blanco capped the inning with a run-scoring double off Marcos Mateo, who the D-backs returned to the Cubs recently after optioning the Rule 5 Draft pick. Hill, Prado, Montero and Owings all finished the day with two hits each.
Pitching notes: Despite giving up three runs, McCarthy appeared more than ready to start against the Giants Monday. He gave up the three runs on six hits, six strikeouts and looked about as good as he has all spring. McCarthy finishes the spring 2-0 with a 2.70 ERA over 20.0 innings but downplayed his results a bit, preferring to wait and see once the season begins.
"Spring is still spring," McCarthy said. "I threw with conviction, the stuff was all there, I was able to accomplish what I wanted to while I was here, so those were all good things. How those translate into regular season results we’ll find out, but I feel like I’m in a really good place."
Oliver Perez and Will Harris combined for a scoreless seventh before David Hernandez gave up a home run in the eighth. J.J. Putz closed out the game with a perfect frame.
Short hops: D-backs manager Kirk Gibson discussed further Wednesday the decision to make Addison Reed the team’s closer over J.J. Putz. Reed, Gibson said, gives the D-backs a more durable closer capable of going three days in a row or four out of six days. Putz typically doesn’t pitch more than two days in a row. . . . Cody Ross could be back by the start of the D-backs’ second series of the season in Colorado, Gibson said, but that projection may be a bit too early. Ross has been playing the outfield, but Gibson said he has yet to see the necessary explosion in Ross’ running. . . . The D-backs played in front of 12,755 fans Wednesday, their sixth sellout of the spring. Thursday’s game against he Indians is the team’s final game of the spring at Salt River Fields.
Quotable: "That was fun. Gosh, we’ve been waiting for that for a while. . . . . This was what the doctor ordered right here." — D-backs bench coach Alan Trammell (filling in for Gibson) on Thursday’s 20-hit, 14-run effort.
Thursday’s games: D-backs (12-9) at Reds (12-17), Goodyear Ballpark, 12:05 p.m. D-backs vs. Indians (18-8), Salt River Fields, 1 p.m.
Probable pitchers: D-backs (at Reds): Randall Delgado (0-0, 5.56 ERA). Reds: Tony Cingrani (2-1, 6.23). D-backs (vs. Indians): Wade Miley (0-1, 1.29). Indians: Corey Kluber (0-1, 6.64).