Sedona Red Recap: Corbin, Lamb lead D-backs to Opening Day win
PHOENIX — It’s just one game. But it’s the first game. And there’s nothing better than Opening Day.
The 2018 opener may have lacked the walk-off excitement from a year ago, the result, however, was the same: an Arizona Diamondbacks win.
Jake Lamb drove in four runs, while Alex Avila, Jarrod Dyson, Deven Marrero and David Peralta each had RBI as the D-backs beat the Colorado Rockies, 8-2, in front of a sold-out crowd of 48,703 at Chase Field on Thursday.
Lamb’s four RBI set a franchise Opening Day record.
Making his first Opening Day start, Patrick Corbin (1-0) earned the win. He pitched 5.2 innings, allowing two runs — home runs to Nolan Arenado and D.J. LeMahieu — on seven hits with one walk and eight strikeouts.
Once Corbin exited, the bullpen did its job, shutting down the Rockies the rest of the way. No arm was more effective than the right arm of Archie Bradley, who went 1.2 scoreless innings through the heart of the order.
The D-backs scored three times in both the first and sixth innings and then added a pair of insurance runs in the seventh.
Starter Jon Gray (0-1), who also lost the Wild Card Game, was dealt another setback by the D-backs. He was tagged for three runs — all in the first — on six hits with three walks and four strikeouts in four innings.
The D-backs have won nine of the last 11 meetings with the Rockies.
As they did in the first inning of the Wild Card Game, the D-backs scored three times off Gray. Lamb launched a first-pitch curveball off the wall in right-center field — just above the 413-foot sign– for a two-run double. Peralta and A.J. Pollock, who each singled to begin the frame, scored. Two batters later, Avila brought home the third run with an RBI groundout.
Three times in six innings Corbin struck out at least two batters. He struck out the side in the first, closed out the second with back-to-back strikeouts and then recorded the first two outs in the sixth with strikeouts. Overall, Corbin finished with eight strikeouts, six of them swinging. By the way, the eight strikeouts tied for the fourth-most in team history on Opening Day.
Up to bat with the bases loaded for the third time, Lamb lifted a soft single into shallow left field to plate a pair of runs in the sixth inning. Dyson and Peralta scored to make it 6-2 in favor of the D-backs. Earlier in the inning, Peralta hit a dribbler up the third base line for an RBI single. The play brought home Nick Ahmed, who opened the frame by drawing a walk.
With one out in the seventh inning, in what was his first at-bat with the D-backs, Marrero singled in Dyson to make it 8-2. Marrero entered the previous half-inning, replacing Ketel Marte as part of a double-switch. Earlier, Dyson drove home his own run, recording an RBI triple after right fielder Carlos Gonzalez had the ball bounce past him after a failed diving attempt.
It’s why Bradley is not the closer. With one out and runners on first and second in the seventh inning, Bradley got LeMahieu to hit into an inning-ending 6-4-3 double play. Then in the eighth, facing the Rockies’ 3-4-5 hitters, Bradley stuck out both Arenado and Trevor Story before Gonzalez flied out to deep left field. Bradley faced four batters and recorded five outs.
On the 10th pitch of the game, LeMahieu took Corbin deep to put the Rockies in front, 1-0, in the top of the first inning. It was a 93.9 mph fastball on a 2-2 pitch that just cleared the fence and the outstretched glove of Peralta in left field. The home run was LeMahieu’s fourth in 38 career at-bats against Corbin.
During Pollock’s at-bat in the third inning, a shirtless fan ran onto the field and slid into second base. He got up and briefly eluded security before tripping over his own feet and landing face-first in shallow right field. Security kindly escorted the gentleman off the field, allowing play to resume. Pollock, by the way, struck out.
In both the fourth and fifth innings, the D-backs had the first two batters reach base safely — and in the fifth the first three batters — and both times they were unable to extend their lead. Combined, D-backs hitters went 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position in those innings. They struck out three times.
Leading off the sixth inning, Arenado ripped a 1-0 pitch from Corbin for a solo home run, cutting the D-backs lead to 3-2. The ball landed in the left-field seats. It was Arenado’s second hit in three at-bats against Corbin. It was also his second career homer against Corbin and sixth-ever to leave the yard at Chase Field.
STAT OF THE GAME
3: Of the D-backs’ 12 hits, just three went for extra bases and none for home runs; two doubles and a triple
HE SAID IT
“Pretty special Opening Day for us. You get the crowd behind you, you win the ballgame, you execute, a lot of your key players do some really special things. It was a magical day,” manager Torey Lovullo said.
Corbin threw a first-pitch strike to 13-of-24 batters faced; plus, he reached a three-ball count a total of three times.
Lamb recorded his sixth, seventh, eighth and ninth career RBI on Opening Day; those are the most in team history.
Peralta recorded three hits and now has eight career hits against Gray, the most Gray has allowed to any batter.
Yoshi Hirano made his Major League-debut; he recorded one out, a strikeout, and allowed one hit in the seventh inning.
This marked the seventh straight season and ninth time in the last 10 years the D-backs opened their season at home.
With a first-pitch temperature of 82 degrees at 7:11 p.m., the game was played with both the roof and panels open.
An All-Star last season, left-hander Robbie Ray starts game two of the three-game series on Friday, March 30. He’ll be opposed by Tyler Anderson, another left-hander. First pitch is scheduled for 6:40 p.m. with pregame coverage beginning 40 minutes earlier on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station.
Ray established career bests in wins (15) and ERA (2.98) in 2017. He faced the Rockies in the Wild Card Game, tossing 2.1 innings of relief.
This will be his 10th career start against the NL West rivals.
Meanwhile, Anderson went 6-6 with a 4.81 ERA across 15 starts and two relief appearances a year ago. He, too, pitched in the Wild Card Game and the D-backs touched him up for two runs in one inning.
Anderson is 1-0 all-time versus Arizona.