Indians turn to bullpen, fall after first-inning damage
Pestano, Axford record scoreless outings against D-backs in Cactus League matchup
GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- The D-backs got the best of the Indians' bullpen and Patrick Corbin turned in a strong start in a 4-2 Arizona victory on Saturday afternoon at Goodyear Ballpark.
Cleveland threw a slew of relievers in the Cactus League outing, with Frank Herrmann taking the brunt of the damage in the first inning. Gerardo Parra doubled to lead off the game, and Paul Goldschmidt and Martin Prado homered in back-to-back at-bats.
In his two Cactus League outings since returning from Tommy John surgery, Herrmann has given up eight hits, six earned runs and three homers in just 1 2/3 innings. He did not escape the first on Saturday.
"Second outing, it's probably hard for Frank to be happy about it," manager Terry Francona said. "He threw some balls that caught too much of the plate and got hit hard. From our side of it, it's his second outing and he continues to grow. It's gonna take a while. … He just needs some reps and to keep getting stronger and back to game speed. Then I think you'll start to see a guy getting people out."
Cleveland got two back in the second when Carlos Santana reached on an error and scored on a Mike Aviles double. David Murphy also doubled and scored. Chris Owings singled and scored for the D-backs in the top of the third, extending the Arizona lead to 4-2.
In the D-backs' penultimate game before heading to Australia to kick off the season against the Dodgers, Corbin -- the team's Opening Day starter -- was forced out of the game early with apparent forearm soreness. He scattered two runs (neither of them earned) on nine hits over 6 1/3 innings, striking out six without walking a batter, but left in the middle of an at-bat with one out and a man on in the seventh.
Goldschmidt also doubled and walked, and Aviles and Elliot Johnson combined for five hits.
Vinnie Pestano and John Axford each threw scoreless innings for the Tribe.
Up next: The Tribe will break into a split squad on Sunday and send a group to Scottsdale to take on the Giants and a group to Mesa to face the Cubs. Ace Justin Masterson will get the nod for the Indians in Mesa, with Aaron Harang starting against the Giants. Utility man Bryan LaHair (left hand) is expected to make his Cactus League debut in Scottsdale, Ariz. Both games start at 4:05 p.m. ET with the game against the Cubs airing on WTAM and the Indians Radio Network.