HR: Ryan Braun (2), Michael Taylor (1)
Ryan Braun only played four innings today, but he powered the Brewers offense in the early going of a 7-2 win against Oakland.
Braun has still only been retired once this spring and went 2-for-2 today, connecting for the only two hits against A's starter Jarrod Parker, who otherwise kept the Brewers off the board for 3.1 innings. The second of those hits was a long home run to left, Braun's second of the spring.
Yovani Gallardo had a somewhat pedestrian performance today, allowing a single run on three hits over 2.2 innings. The run scored on a line drive homer for Oakland right fielder Michael Taylor. Stop me if you've heard this one before: Gallardo hit his pitch count early today and had to exit the game. He threw 49 pitches (29 strikes) while recording eight outs. He walked one while recording four strikeouts.
"It felt good. I worked on things I wanted to work on in my second start of the spring," Gallardo told FS Wisconsin in an in-game interview. "Overall, I threw the ball over the plate, which is the most important part."
Meanwhile, the big story today may have been the Cactus League debut of Brewers closer Jim Henderson, who sat out the first week of MLB games while he was reportedly working on a new pitch. He pitched a perfect fifth inning on just nine pitches.
Today's game also featured a bunch of potential candidates to play first base:
- Mark Reynolds started at first base today, batted cleanup and went 0-for-1, but walked, was hit by a pitch and scored a run.
- Juan Francisco played third base, batted fifth and singled in the fourth inning for his sixth hit of the spring. He also drew a walk in the game.
- Hunter Morris started at DH, batted seventh and went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts.
- Jason Rogers got the start in left field, batted eighth and had an RBI single in the fourth inning, giving the Brewers a 2-1 lead.
- Sean Halton replaced Reynolds at first base in the sixth and grounded out and walked in his plate appearances.
Beyond Gallardo and Henderson, the other Brewers to pitch today were Zach Duke (1.1 scoreless), Rob Wooten (allowed a run but struck out the side in the sixth), Hiram Burgos (two scoreless) and Donovan Hand (struck out the side in a perfect ninth). The five Brewer pitchers combined for 13 strikeouts in the game.
2013 Brevard County Manatee Mitch Haniger replaced Braun in the lineup and continued his hot spring, connecting for two RBI hits and a walk. He's driven in five runs with his four hits this spring, not counting his homer in last week's intrasquad game.
Today's game was the final of three meetings between the Brewers and A's in 2014. The longest homestand of the spring continues tomorrow when the Brewers host the Rockies at 2:05. Kyle Lohse will face Jordan Lyles.