Diamondbacks' Robbie Ray tosses three scoreless vs. Royals

Diamondbacks' Robbie Ray tosses three scoreless vs. Royals

Diamondbacks

Diamondbacks' Robbie Ray tosses three scoreless vs. Royals

Diamondbacks 4, Royals 1

At Surprise Stadium

On the mound: LHP Robbie Ray threw three scoreless innings, striking out one, and came away pleased with his ability to get ground balls with runners on, including in the third, when he coaxed a double-play ball out of Royals 2B Christian Colon. “I think that’s a big thing, being able to, when guys get on base, not go for the strikeout and get a double play,” Ray said. “I think that was a big step forward.” Ray, who struggled to develop a dependable third pitch to go with his fastball and slider, said he has been experimenting with different grips on his change-up. “I’m still getting comfortable with it,” he said. “I feel like right now it’s not a pitch I throw behind in the count but potentially in the future.” It was a far better outing for Ray than his first start, in which he walked three in 1 1/3 innings. RHP Matt Koch, who has been out with a hamstring issue, made his first outing of the Cactus League, allowing a run on two hits in the eighth inning.

At the plate: SS Chris Owings had a pair of hits and scored twice, and RF David Peralta had two hits and two RBIs. C Jeff Mathis went 2 for 3, making him 4 for 8 with two walks in the Cactus League. LF Yasmany Tomas went 0 for 3, dropping to 0 for 17, and 1B Chris Herrmann went 0 for 2 and is only 1 for 14.

COMPLETE CACTUS LEAGUE COVERAGE

Extra bases: SS Ildemaro Vargas made a slick play on a ground ball in the hole, then after walking in the eighth he alertly advanced to third when a wild pitch went to the backstop and C Parker Morin was slow to retrieve it. “Great baserunning move,” manager Torey Lovullo said. “He’s playing baseball without the fear of making mistakes. That’s something that I watch in young players. You can tell when those young players are fearful of doing the wrong thing. I’ve been preaching to our young players to go out there and not be afraid to make mistakes. I think all good big-leaguers do that.”

Tuesday’s game: Diamondbacks RHP Shelby Miller vs. Athletics RHP Sonny Gray, 1:10 p.m., Salt River Fields.

–Nick Piecoro

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