SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) — The Arizona Diamondbacks’ $206.5 million man pronounced his spring training debut for the team as pretty good.
Zack Greinke pitched two scoreless innings in the Diamondbacks’ 6-3 victory over an Oakland Athletics’ split squad on Friday.
The Diamondbacks’ new ace, whose signing to the big six-year deal with Arizona was a big offseason surprise, gave up one hit and struck out two. He threw 16 of 25 pitches for strikes.
“It was all right, decent location, some OK offspeed,” Greinke said. “Not all of them perfect, but they were OK, some good pitches, some not-quite as good, but overall pretty good.”
Greinke has had injury problems the past three springs but they obviously didn’t affect him once the season began. He said his main goal this spring is to “stay healthy for the most part. Ideally, I’d like to have pitches sort of do what I want them to and that’s kind of what I did.”
Greinke, 19-3 with a major league-best 1.66 ERA for the Los Angeles Dodgers last season, was asked if he felt anything special in a new uniform.
“No, not really,” he said. “Probably because it’s spring training. The first game of the regular season will probably be a lot more feeling like that, pitching in a new park with different fans and all that, getting used to a new home and stadium.”
Greinke began the day with a breaking ball to leadoff hitter Billy Butler.
“That guy swings at first pitch more than anyone in baseball I think,” Greinke said, “so I don’t want to give up an easy hit throwing a fastball down the middle.”
One of the outs Greinke got came when first baseman Paul Goldschmidt made a diving stop of Chris Coghlan’s sharp grounder and flipped the ball to the pitcher covering the bag for the final out of the first inning.
“I kind of stopped running because I thought it was going to get by him,” Greinke said, “and then he caught it so I had to start moving again.”
He struck out Sam Fuld swinging in the first and got Andrew Lambo looking to end the second.
“Zack was great,” Arizona manager Chip Hale said. “He got his work in. He felt good. He was throwing the ball on both sides of the plate, threw his off-speed pitches. He worked hard.”
Jean Segura, acquired by the Diamondbacks from Milwaukee in a five-player deal, hit a leadoff homer off Felix Doubront.
He threw eight pitches in the bullpen after leaving the game.
Gabriel Guerrero, Vladimir’s nephew, hit a three-run homer off Oakland’s Chris Smith in the third inning.
Rickie Weeks, recently signed to a minor-league contract by the Diamondbacks, was 2-for-3 with a double and RBI. He scored twice.
Evan Marshall threw a hitless ninth inning to earn the save in an emotional return to the mound, seven months to the day after he was nearly killed by a line drive to the head while pitching in a minor league game in El Paso.
Marshall had a fractured skull and internal bleeding, and there was doubt he would make it through the first night.
“A lot has happened in a short amount of time,” Marshall said. “It’s just a blessing to be able to go back on the mound and do what I can do.”
Marshall finished the game by fielding a come-back hit to the mound.
A’s shortstop Marcus Semien, who led the majors in errors last season, booted what would have been a routine double-play grounder in the fourth. He cleanly fielded a double-play grounder, though, to end the inning.
Diamondbacks: Center fielder A.J. Pollock was in the lineup after sitting out the first two spring training games with arm soreness.
Doubront, a left-hander who probably going to be the long reliever for Oakland, went two innings. He allowed two runs on five hits with two strikeouts and a walk. Doubront threw 24 of 35 pitches for strikes.
Athletics: Left-hander Rich Hill faces Milwaukee in Phoenix in his first spring start.
Diamondbacks: Right-hander Shelby Miller, acquired by Arizona in an offseason trade with Atlanta and probably the Diamondbacks’ No. 2 starter behind Greinke, faces the Los Angeles Dodgers in Glendale in his first start.