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Roach sharpening arsenal of pitches

Roach sharpening arsenal of pitches

PEORIA, Ariz. -- It certainly won't hurt pitcher Donn Roach's chances of making the 25-man roster that he is coming off his best outing of spring Thursday against the Giants.

Roach, 24, allowed two hits over 2 1/3 scoreless innings with one walk and three strikeouts. He lowered his spring ERA to 3.75 in 12 innings in doing so.

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"I thought Donn threw the ball fine," said Padres manager Bud Black. "He kept the ball down and got his grounders. His sinker was moving, which for a lot a sinker ballers here in Arizona, is not easy. But he had consistent movement. He whipped out a couple of good breaking balls."

Roach had been trying to diversify his pitch arsenal to give hitters more than his plus-sinker to look at. He's also been more aggressive early in the count, mixing in his curveball more as spring has rolled on.

Roach also benefited greatly from a conversation earlier in camp with former Padres Cy Young Award winning pitcher Randy Jones (1976), who was a depended greatly on the sinker in his career.

"Most of the conversations were of a less-is-more mentality," Roach said. "When I try to do too much [with the sinker] my arm doesn't get out front and [the ball] flattens out. It will still get movement but doesn't get that depth and sink that I need to succeed.

"I just need to have trust in my ability to throw the sinker and let it work."

One of Roach's strikeouts Thursday was the result of a curveball.

"I'm using my curveball more than I have in the past and I think it's been good for me. I have thrown several good ones and I'm comfortable using it," Roach said.

Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. Keep track of @FollowThePadres on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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