ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS

D-backs’ Ray has strong showing despite allowing pair of homers

Mar 6, 2019, 4:17 PM
(AP Photo/John Minchillo)...
(AP Photo/John Minchillo)
(AP Photo/John Minchillo)

PHOENIX — All the sights — and sounds — of a strong Robbie Ray start were present on Wednesday against the Milwaukee Brewers.

There were loud grunts from Ray, “oohs” and “aahs” from the crowd and a stat sheet stuffed with strikeouts.

Unfortunately, he couldn’t avoid the big hit.

Ray struck out eight batters in 3.2 innings, but allowed a pair of home runs to the defending NL Central champions.

The long balls were the only flaws in an otherwise dominant start from the D-backs’ top lefty.

“I felt good,” Ray said on Wednesday. “Felt like the ball was coming out good. You know, my curveball and slider were sharp today.

“Fastball command was right where I wanted it to be, so overall a really good day.”

Ray mostly made quick work of a Brewers lineup that included reigning National League MVP Christian Yelich, Travis Shaw and Eric Thames.

He faced Yelich twice and struck him out on three pitches in his second at-bat.

Shaw and Thames were strikeout victims in their first at-bats and Ray made Brewers No. 1 prospect Keston Hiura look silly on a four-pitch strikeout.

At one point, Ray recorded seven outs in a row by strikeout.

But it was the home runs that sullied the start.

Catcher Erik Kratz took Ray deep on a two-out, two-strike pitch in the second inning.

Thames dinged him in the third inning with two outs, smoking a two-run moon shot to right field that ended his afternoon.

“The first one honestly I don’t know if that ball should have got out,” Ray said. “Wind was blowing out and it was off the end of the bat a little bit.

“Second one was a pitch right down the middle and I was challenging [Thames] 2-0.”

Even so, it was a mostly positive start for Ray.

He didn’t walk a batter, threw 39 of his 57 pitches for strikes and threw first-pitch strikes to nine of the 14 batters he faced.

“It was just one of those days where everything was working,” Ray said.

Ray’s fastball touched 95 mph and he was able to get strikeouts with both his fastball and off-speed pitches.

Plus, it was a noted improvement from Ray’s first start of the spring, when he was “feeling off a little physically.”

The Brewers won the game, 5-4.

“The arm feels good, body feels good,” Ray said. “I feel like my timing was great. So yeah, felt very good.”

BASE HITS

– Outfielder Steven Souza Jr. hasn’t hit well this spring, but clubbed his second home run of the spring against presumed Brewers opening day starter Jhoulys Chacin in the first inning. Much like his first home run of the spring, it came on a two-strike count.

– Outfielder David Peralta finally recorded his first RBI of spring training. Peralta laced an RBI double in the fourth inning to score Eduardo Escobar.

Arizona Diamondbacks

A general view of Chase Field during a game between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Arizona Diamondback...
Alex Weiner

Diamondbacks sign highly ranked international shortstop prospect

The Arizona Diamondbacks agreed to sign one of the top international shortstop prospects, Abdidas De La Cruz, for $1.2 million. 
6 days ago
Arizona Diamondbacks second baseman Ketel Marte (4) throws to home plate in the bottom of the fifth...
Arizona Sports

D-backs scheduled to face Rockies in Las Vegas spring series

The Arizona Diamondbacks and Colorado Rockies have scheduled a spring training series on March 18-19 in Las Vegas.
7 days ago
Kyler Murray #1 of the Arizona Cardinals and head coach Kliff Kingsbury wait along the sidelines du...
Kevin Zimmerman

New Year’s resolutions for the Arizona sports teams in 2022

Here are what the local teams that air on 98.7 FM can look forward to achieving in the new year. Let's lend them some resolutions.
23 days ago
Deandre Ayton #22 of the Phoenix Suns dunks the ball over Ivica Zubac #40 of the LA Clippers  durin...
Arizona Sports

The best Arizona sports plays of 2021

Being in high-leverage games tends to produce big moments, and multiple local teams competed for a championship this year.
21 days ago
(Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)...
Arizona Sports

The most-read ArizonaSports.com stories of 2021

It's been a newsy year in the sports world. For ArizonaSports.com, we looked at the two most-read articles for every month of 2021.
22 days ago
Suns’ Devin Booker doesn’t play 4th quarter of NBA Finals’ Game 3 loss (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)...
Kellan Olson

The best Arizona sports performances of 2021

The Arizona sports scene provided some great individual performances in the year 2021. Here are some of the best.
24 days ago
D-backs’ Ray has strong showing despite allowing pair of homers