Friday, March 30, 2018

Lamb’s 4 RBIs help D-backs open with 8-2 win over Rockies

Four years after Tommy John surgery derailed his anticipated opening day start, Patrick Corbin got another chance and made the most of it, with a lot of help from Arizona's offense.
Corbin struck out eight while pitching into the sixth inning and the Diamondbacks got hits up and down the lineup in an 8-2 victory over the Colorado Rockies on Wednesday night.
"It's great just to start off with a win," Corbin said, "get things rolling in the right direction."
Corbin, 14-13 last season, got the opening day nod from manager Torey Lovullo after a minor groin issue messed up Zack Greinke's preparation schedule and made him unavailable.
Corbin, Lovullo said, "did everything we wanted him to and then some."
He allowed two runs and seven hits in 5 2/3 innings, walking just one.
Corbin "had the good slider tonight," Rockies manager Bud Black said. "I think that was the key for him, the good breaking pitch. He went to it often. The slider had good depth to it. He kept it down. Out of the hand it looks like a strike then it falls down. He has a good slider. We have to be ready tomorrow with another good one with (Robbie) Ray."
Jake Lamb led the offense. He came up with the bases loaded three times and came through twice, once with a two-run double and again with a two-run single.
"That just shows how good our team is," Lamb said. "That's my job in that part of the lineup, but it's on the other guys to get on base. Up and down the lineup, that's what our team does."
David Peralta singled three times for Arizona, scoring twice and driving in a run. Jarrod Dyson added two hits, including an RBI triple, in front of 48,703 at Chase Field.
"We had runners on base all day long," Lovullo said, "and that's what we're all about."
DJ LeMahieu and Nolan Arenado homered for Colorado.
The teams opened the season on the same field where Colorado's 2017 campaign ended in an 11-8 loss to the Diamondbacks in last year's National League wild-card game.
Jon Gray (0-1), who started that game but didn't get out of the second inning, took Thursday's loss, too. He went four innings, allowing three runs and six hits.
"There were a few pitches up but overall I just didn't get ahead," he said. "A lot of pitches weren't competitive at all and it is tough to win that way. You can put yourself in a bad spot early."
Archie Bradley didn't allow a hit in 1 2/3 innings of relief, striking out two.
With Colorado up 1-0, Peralta and A.J. Pollock led off Arizona's first with singles and Paul Goldschmidt walked to load the bases. On the first pitch he saw, Lamb lofted a fly ball that no one could chase down in front of the 413-foot sign in right-center. Peralta and Pollock scored to make it 2-1. Goldschmidt scored when Alex Avila grounded out to first, and Arizona led 3-1.
After Arenado's homer cut the lead to 3-2 in the sixth, the Diamondbacks scored three in their half of the inning. Peralta brought one run home with an infield single, and Lamb two more with a two-out bloop hit to left and it was 6-2.
Rockies: Colorado placed three players on the 10-day DL retroactive to March 26: RHP Carlos Estevez (left oblique strain), RHP Jeff Hoffman (right shoulder inflammation), LHP Zac Rosscup (left middle finger blister).
Diamondbacks: OF Steven Souza Jr. (strained right pec) said he ran for the first time since the injury and did a little light swinging of the bat but has not tried to throw. Still, he said he didn't expect to feel this good so quickly. He started the season on the 10-day disabled list, as did RHP Randall Delgado (left oblique strain).
The new, much-hyped motorized cart available for relievers from both teams to come in from the bullpen sat idle all night as all the relief pitchers chose to jog in as usual.
Lovullo confirmed that Greinke would start the final game of the Colorado series on Saturday night. That means right-handers Taijuan Walker and Zack Godley will go against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Monday and Tuesday.
In a clash of left-handers, Colorado starts Tyler Anderson and Arizona goes with 15-game winner Robbie Ray in the second game of the three-game series Friday night.

King Again: Hernandez starts strong as M's top Indians 2-1

Felix Hernandez delivered the type of opening day performance the Seattle Mariners have come to expect - even after missing some time during spring training.
It's just a new version of Hernandez that got the job done.
"I had to do my job. It was good. It was fun," Hernandez said.
Hernandez pitched shutout ball into the sixth inning, Nelson Cruz hit a two-run home run in the first and the Mariners opened the season with a 2-1 win over the Cleveland Indians on Thursday night.
Hernandez became just the seventh pitcher to start at least 10 straight opening days, and he got off to a strong start against one of the best teams in the American League. Hernandez allowed two hits in 5 1/3 innings, only being pulled due to a limited pitch count. His spring training was truncated after being hit by a line drive and missing some time.
He has seven opening day wins, tied with Randy Johnson, Tom Seaver and Jimmy Key for fourth most.
"Can't say enough about the job Felix did tonight. Limited work in spring training and compete like that. Really stayed with the game plan. His curveball was outstanding all night," Seattle manager Scott Servais said.
Following Hernandez, the Mariners used five relievers. Edwin Diaz hit two batters in the ninth and let pinch-runner Rajai Davis reach third with one out. But Diaz struck out Yan Gomes and Tyler Naquin to close out the save.
Hernandez (1-0) was given an early jolt from Cruz, who picked up where 2017 left off. After hitting 39 home runs last year, Cruz hit the first pitch he saw from Corey Kluber (0-1) over the center field fence for an early 2-0 lead. The 88 mph cutter stayed in the middle of the plate, and Cruz didn't miss.
That was all Seattle would get against Kluber, who pitched eight innings and allowed six hits.
"It was supposed to be a cutter down and away. I just got underneath it, and it ended up kind of just spinning, hanging pretty much middle-middle," Kluber said.
Seattle has asked Hernandez not to be afraid of contact. He's no longer the strikeout pitcher of his younger years, when his fastball regularly clocked in the mid-to-upper 90s. Location and smarts are keys now.
For at least one outing, it looked like the changes are taking hold.
Hernandez allowed singles to Jason Kipnis in the third inning and Edwin Encarnacion in the fourth, but most of the contact made was weak and easy outs. He even quick-pitched Bradley Zimmer for a strikeout ending the fifth inning.
Hernandez walked Kipnis on four pitches with one out in the sixth, ending his night at 83 pitches. Dan Altavilla got Jose Ramirez to ground into a double play, and the Mariners were through the sixth without allowing a run.
Cleveland got its only run in the seventh after Lonnie Chisenhall doubled with two outs and Gomes' flair to center field dropped in front of Dee Gordon. It was the only time Seattle allowed a runner past second base.
"It's been a while since we opened at home, so it was really good," Hernandez said.
Ichiro Suzuki played left field and went 0 for 2 in his first game with Seattle since being traded to the New York Yankees in 2012. Suzuki signed as a free agent with the Mariners this month, reuniting him with the club where he played his first 12 seasons. The Japanese star was greeted by huge cheers during player introductions and prior to his first at-bat.
During the pregame ceremony the Mariners included Tito Francona - father of Cleveland manager Terry Francona - among those with ties to baseball that passed away since the end of last season. Terry Francona appeared moved by the gesture, and Francisco Lindor put his arm around his manager during the moment of silence.
"I was stunned. I wasn't ready for that. It was very classy on their part. I kind of had to catch myself right there," Francona said.
Indians: OF Michael Brantley was placed on the 10-day disabled list as Cleveland finalized its roster, but he is progressing in his rehab from right ankle surgery. Brantley was scheduled to only play seven innings in his last spring training stint with Triple-A Columbus but played all nine because he was feeling so good.
Mariners: C Mike Zunino was a late scratch for the opener due to stiffness in his right side. Zunino felt the stiffness develop after his final swing of batting practice during Wednesday's workout. ... RHPs Hisashi Iwakuma (shoulder surgery) and Erasmo Ramirez (lat strain) both threw bullpens Thursday as they continue recovery from their injuries.
Indians: Cleveland will send Carlos Carrasco to the mound on Saturday. Carrasco won his final six decisions of the 2017 regular season as part of an 18-win season.
Mariners: Seattle will have lefty James Paxton on the mound. Paxton was 12-5 with a 2.98 ERA in 2017.