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Bradley lives up to billing in spring debut

Top prospect fans six in three innings against lineup of Rockies regulars

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- D-backs top pitching prospect Archie Bradley certainly made an impression on his team -- as well as the rival Rockies -- on Monday night.

Bradley struck out six, including five projected regulars, in three innings of the D-backs' 5-0 victory at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick in front of 7,566.

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The Rockies also used one of their top pitching prospects, righty Eddie Butler, who became the first Colorado pitcher this spring to work beyond two innings. Butler was scoreless in the fifth and sixth innings before yielding two runs on a walk and a double by Mike Jacobs. In total, Butler gave up two runs on one hit and two walks.

Bradley, who was picked seventh overall in the 2011 Draft and made it to Double-A Montgomery last year, was making his first career Cactus League start. He saw just one inning last year. This one was memorable. He twice caught Rockies leadoff man Drew Stubbs looking at strikes, and also had strikeouts of Michael Cuddyer, Carlos Gonzalez, Nolan Arenado and starting pitcher Christian Friedrich.

The last came with the bases loaded in the second, after Bradley walked Troy Tulowitzki and DJ LeMahieu and gave up his lone hit to Wilin Rosario.

Bradley's fastball was clocked at 92-96 mph, and he showed an effective slider and the ability to pitch inside.

"I had a lot of fun out there," Bradley said. "It was fun to finally face someone without a Diamondbacks jersey on. It felt really good to be on this side, in big league camp. Obviously, you couldn't ask for a better debut. I got the adrenaline going, I got to compete and it felt good."

Friedrich pitched for the Rockies in 2012, but a lingering back injury limited him to four Triple-A appearances last year. In his return to the mound, Friedrich gave up one run, on Mark Trumbo's first-inning RBI single, and three hits, with three strikeouts and two walks. One out from reaching his scheduled two innings, Friedrich was removed because of a high pitch count.

"I said beforehand, no matter what happens, it's going to be a lot of fun," Friedrich said. "It just felt good to see pitches go where I wanted sometimes, seeing a nice flip out of the curveball when it was in the zone. I'm happy to be back out there."

Now that he has cleared the hurdle of game competition, Friedrich can concentrate on competing for a rotation spot. The Rockies have opened competition for a spot held by righty Juan Nicasio, and righty Jhoulys Chacin could miss some early starts because the club doesn't want to rush his recovery from a shoulder strain.

Butler walked the first hitter he faced in the fifth, then was smooth until he walked Shelley Duncan to open the seventh. Jacobs doubled Duncan home and later scored on a sacrifice fly.

It was a big day for Rockies prospects on the mound. Butler, who was a supplemental first-round pick in 2012, compiled a 1.80 ERA while pitching at three levels last year, topping out at Double-A Tulsa. Righty Jon Gray, last year's top Draft pick and third overall, threw two scoreless innings in the Rockies' 8-1 loss to the Mariners in Monday's earlier split-squad game.

Up next: The D-backs take to the road to play the Padres at 1:05 p.m. MT at Peoria Sports Complex. Randall Delgado will make the start in place of Bronson Arroyo, who was scratched with lower back stiffness. Addison Reed, who is competing for the closer's job with J.J. Putz, is also scheduled to see action.

Thomas Harding is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb.

Arizona Diamondbacks, Archie Bradley