By Mark Carlisle
PEORIA — After a stretch of shaky pitching, the Diamondbacks’ pitching staff has put forth top-rate performances for two straight spring training games.
The D-backs staff allowed three runs, one unearned, in the team’s 10-3 win over the San Diego Padres at the Peoria Sports Complex Monday night, each team’s first night game of the spring.
It was the D-backs’ second straight win after a five-game losing streak, in which they allowed an average of 11.6 runs per game. Arizona shutout the Chicago Cubs Sunday at Salt River Fields in Scottsdale and let in just two earned runs Monday.
“We weren’t doing a lot of things on the mound that we’re capable of doing,” manager Torey Lovullo said about his pitchers’ cold streak. “And, you know, I think it might be a sign of where we’re at in spring training, things just getting a little loose and might not be able to repeat deliveries, but I think these guys are starting to get a good feel for their stuff and it’s nice to see – two very well-pitched games over the past two days.”
The D-backs’ pitching success Monday wasn’t from the more common names fans will see at Chase Field in the regular season. Andrew Chafin, who retired the side in order in the fifth, was the only pitcher to throw more than 30 innings during 2017. Silvino Bracho, who threw a scoreless third with two strikeouts, and Jake Barrett, who allowed the unearned run in the sixth, each topped 20 innings in 2017. Sunday’s shutout included good outings from starter Taijuan Walker and closer candidates Archie Bradley and Yoshihisa Hirano.
The Arizona offense wasn’t as stellar Monday as the final score suggests, helped out tremendously by sloppy pitching and fielding from San Diego. Two D-back runs came from the Padres walking runs in with the bases loaded, two runners scored from wild pitches, one runner scored on a balk and one scored on an error.
The offensive highlight of the night came when Socrates Brito homered off of Padres closer Brad Hand, a 2017 All-Star, in the eighth. Rey Fuentes and Jack Reinheimer each hit two-out RBI triples.
The D-backs looked like they’d go two games without an earned run but Kris Medlen gave up a two-run homer to Raffy Lopez in the bottom of the ninth.
The D-backs will play the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Tuesday at 1:10 p.m. at Salt River Fields in Scottsdale. Zack Godley is expected to start for Arizona, facing J.C. Ramirez. Godley has been a bright spot on a pitching staff that has seen its struggles this spring. He’s yet to allow a run over 4 2/3 innings in two games. Last time out, March 1 against Milwaukee, he struck out four in three innings.