D-backs’ David Peralta has big day at the plate in spring tie with Dodgers
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Arizona Diamondbacks left fielder David Peralta continues to chug along in regular season form during spring training.
In seven innings against the Los Angeles Dodgers that resulted in a 7-7 tie, the Freight Train was 3-for-4 with a home run, two singles, three RBI and two runs scored. He also reached base in the sixth inning on a fielding error.
“I loved what I saw from our team offensively,” commented manager Torey Lovullo on their performance. “David’s three-run home run put us right back in the game.”
Peralta is hitting .321 with a 1.030 OPS, three doubles, two home runs and seven RBI in nine games.
D-backs’ Asdrubal Cabrera also had a great day at the plate, going 3-for-3 with a solo home run, two RBI and a run scored. He is currently hitting .333.
“We just got to continue to grow and learn and know how good we are and what we’re capable of doing. That was a lot of fun to watch today,” Lovullo said.
In other offensive news, utility infielder Josh Rojas continues his consistency, hitting safely again in this game with a single in the second inning.
Rojas has now hit safely in 11 of his last 13 games. He is ranked first in all qualified Major League players this spring in hits with 15 total.
Even starting pitcher Merrill Kelly got in on the fun with a single of his own in the third inning and a sac-RBI in the fourth.
“It was fun. It’s way better than striking out that’s for sure,” joked Kelly. “I was glad I didn’t get thrown out at first, though. I saw Mookie (Betts) coming in pretty hard. I had to turn on the jets a little bit to make sure he didn’t throw me out from right field.”
Meanwhile, Kelly made his third start of Cactus League play on the mound and continued to struggle to keep runs off the board early. Some defensive mistakes behind him in the outfield contributed to the scoring.
He allowed a leadoff double to right fielder Mookie Betts in the first, who was driven in on the next at bat by an RBI single from catcher Corey Seager.
In the following inning, the inexperience in the outfield reared its head as center fielder Trayce Thompson lost a ball in the sun on a pop fly that resulted in a dropped out and two runs scoring.
Another poorly played ball by Thompson in the third inning resulted in an RBI double for second baseman Gavin Lux.
Kelly went four innings, allowing eight hits with one walk. He gave up six runs — four of which were earned — and struck out one.
“We didn’t do a lot of things well defensively out there, and that’s what spring training’s all about,” Lovullo said of the mistakes.
“That’s the part of spring training that allows us to address some of those needs. If you tighten those things up and you look at Merrill’s outing, I think it’s a totally different story.”
The D-backs will travel to Maryvale to take on the Milwaukee Brewers in Cactus League play on Friday. First pitch is scheduled for 1:05 p.m.
Caleb Smith is the scheduled starting pitcher for Arizona. He is 0-2 in three starts in spring training with an 8.59 ERA and nine strikeouts in 7.1 innings of work.