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D-backs blanked in final Opening Series tuneup

Bradley allows three runs on six hits in 3 2/3 innings vs. Team Australia

D-backs blanked in final Opening Series tuneup

SYDNEY -- On the eve of their regular-season opener, the D-backs struggled in losing to Team Australia, 5-0, at historic Sydney Cricket Ground on Friday.

In the land Down Under, the D-backs found themselves down early as top prospect Archie Bradley was unable to get into a rhythm for the second straight start.

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The D-backs hoped that Bradley would go five innings, but the right-hander was not able to get through the fourth.

"Archie didn't have his command very well, and they did a good job getting on him," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said.

Bradley, MLB.com's top-ranked pitching prospect, allowed three runs on six hits while walking three in 3 2/3 innings. That comes on the heels of a Cactus League start in which he allowed four runs on five hits in just two innings.

"I'm just not throwing the ball very well right now," Bradley said. "I had it in the pen, but it just didn't translate. I have to figure out what the difference is before the game and taking it into the game. It's not something I'm really worried about, but it's something I've got to figure it out."

The performance did not help Bradley in his bid to claim the spot in the rotation left open due to Patrick Corbin's elbow injury.

The past two outings raise the question of whether Bradley would be best served with some more Minor League seasoning.

"I think he's struggled his last two starts, but he's a young kid," Gibson said. "I think people put a lot of expectations on him. It's part of the process. He'll be better because of the long spring that he's went through. Throwing the last game tonight was good for him, and we'll have to map out where we go from here."

The D-backs were sluggish offensively, as seven Team Australia pitchers combined to twirl a shutout on nine hits.

It looked like it would be a different story when the D-backs' first two batters of the game -- Gerardo Parra and Aaron Hill -- singled, but Paul Goldschmidt struck out and Martin Prado hit into a double play to end the threat.

"We started out great, then Goldy struck out, which we know is kind of unusual, and then Prado got out in front of one for a double play," Gibson said. "We were 0-for-11 with runners in scoring position. That's not usual and we were a little off tonight. We haven't played in a while. They pitched us well, too. They got strike one on us and then they kind of went to a lot of offspeed stuff and we weren't very sharp on that. Got to give them credit."

Goldschmidt went 0-for-4, while designated hitter Eric Chavez and Parra were the only D-backs with multiple hits, tallying two apiece.

The announced crowd of 16,897 included 600 tickets the team purchased for Sydney youths. The team outfitted them in Sedona Red shirts and they made for quite a cheering section sitting in the historic Ladies Pavilion seats.

Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Inside the D-backs, and follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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