Arizona's Corbin strong in bid for rotation spot

BOB BAUM (AP Sports Writer)
The Associated Press

PHOENIX (AP) -- Patrick Corbin could hardly have made a better final case for himself in his bid to make the Arizona rotation.

The left-hander blanked Cincinnati on two hits through six innings in the Diamondbacks' 2-1 loss to the Reds on Friday night.

Corbin, competing with Randall Delgado to be Arizona's No. 5 starter, struck out seven and walked two.

''He threw the ball really good,'' Arizona manager Kirk Gibson said. ''He was very comfortable on the mound in the whole environment. He was hitting both sides of the plate. His slider was very good tonight, very sharp, and his change-ups, the few that he threw, also were very effective.''

Bronson Arroyo, whose previous outing ended when he was struck in his pitching hand by a line drive, gave up a run on Jason Kubel's homer, scattering seven hits with one strikeout in six innings.

Ryan Ludwick got both hits off Corbin, a first-inning single and a fourth-inning double.

Kubel, batting .150 for the spring going into the game, hit his second home run of the preseason.

Corbin finished the spring 3-0 with a 2.81 ERA. Delgado, who came from Atlanta as part of the Justin Upton trade, pitches Saturday. Gibson said he wanted to wait until after that to make his decisions on his rotation. Wade Miley, penciled as the No. 4 starter but bothered by a tired arm earlier this spring, will start on Saturday, with Delgado coming on afterward.

''We're going to see the process through,'' Gibson said. ''We've got guys that are going to throw tomorrow. ''

Corbin said he pushed any nerves about making the big league team out of the way.

''I honestly didn't really think of it too much,'' he said. ''Whatever their decision is, I feel like I'll be up here at some point during the year. I was just able to go out there, be myself, compete and just work on some stuff to get ready for the regular season.''

Arroyo left Sunday's start against Texas after 5 1-3 innings when he was hit in his right hand by a line drive off the bat of David Murphy. But X-rays were negative and he said he needed to get some work in a final start of the spring. He is set to go for the Reds on Wednesday in the finale of their season-opening series against the Los Angeles Angels.

On Friday night, the right-hander blanked the Diamondbacks on three hits through four innings, then gave up the home run to Kubel leading off the fifth.

''I was just trying to throw strikes and not get hit while getting my pitch count up,'' he said. ''My hand is fine. It is sore to the touch, but I don't feel it at all doing anything on the field.''

Arroyo called it ''a great spring for me.''

''It doesn't mean anything, but it's as comfortable as I've ever felt on the field,'' he said. ''I might give up 16 runs in my first start. But I feel comfortable right now.''

Reds manager Dusty Baker said Arroyo ''was great other than the home run to Kubel.''

''He had more zip on his fastball. He had great location,'' Baker said. ''He's thrown the ball well all spring. I've never seen him so sharp this soon.''

The only run Arizona managed off him came when Kubel lofted a 2-2 pitch just over the fence in right.

The Reds reserves, mostly minor leaguers after wholesale personnel changes in the seventh, scored a run in the seventh off reliever Brad Ziegler to tie it and another off left-hander Joe Paterson in the ninth.

Felix Perez scored both runs for Cincinnati. He led off the eighth with a triple and scored on a groundout to put the Reds up 2-1.

NOTES: Reds 2B Brandon Phillips was a late scratch from the lineup due to illness. ... Arizona OF Cody Ross, who Gibson confirmed will start the year on the DL with a calf strain, says he hopes to return the second week of the season. ... The Reds have a split-squad game Saturday, against Arizona at Chase Field and against Cleveland at the Reds/Indians spring training park in Goodyear. ... Both teams open their seasons at home on Monday, the Reds against the Los Angeles Angels, the Diamondbacks against St. Louis.

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