Brewer Bullpen Blows First Lead Of Spring, Mariners Win 6-5

USA TODAY Sports

Unfortunately, today looked awfully familiar.

W: Carson Smith (1-0)
L: John Axford (0-1)
S: Danny Farquhar (1)

HR: Blake Lalli (1), Franklin Gutierrez (1) Michael Saunders (1), Justin Smoak (1)

Well, maybe the new Brewer bullpen can get all of their blown saves out of the way this spring. They picked up their first today in a 6-5 loss to the Mariners.

John Axford, in his second Cactus League appearance of the season, was called upon to protect a 4-3 lead in the eighth inning today and couldn't do it, allowing three runs and failing to finish the inning. All of the baserunners against him came with two outs.

A few days after Yovani Gallardo and Estrada faced off in the Brewers' intrasquad game on Friday, they piggybacked appearances today. Gallardo pitched two scoreless innings before getting bombed in the third, allowing back-to-back home runs to the normally punchless M's. Gallardo's final line featured 2.2 innings pitched, three runs on five hits, no walks and two strikeouts. He'll start again on Sunday before leaving the team to pitch in the WBC.

The Brewers battled back, though. They had already scored two runs in the second on doubles from Jonathan Lucroy, Alex Gonzalez and Jean Segura, then scored another on an Aramis Ramirez RBI groundout in the third and retook the lead in the fourth when Caleb Gindl tripled and scored on a passed ball.

That set the stage for Estrada, who was excellent today in his first Cactus League appearance. He pitched three scoreless innings with just one hit and no walks, and at one point struck out four consecutive Mariners. If you count the intrasquad game he's now thrown five scoreless this spring.

Blake Lalli brought the Brewers back within one with a solo homer in the bottom of the eighth.

In other news from today:

  • Alex Gonzalez (2-for-3), Ryan Braun (1-for-2 with a HBP) and Jean Segura (1-for-2 with a walk) were all on base multiple times today.
  • Rickie Weeks, Aramis Ramirez and Hunter Morris were all hitless today and are now 0-for-7, 0-for-7 and 0-for-13 on the spring. Ramirez did have an RBI today, though.

Chris Narveson will make his first start of the spring tomorrow when the Brewers travel to Surprise(!) to visit the Royals at 2 pm Central time.

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