After coughing up a lead yesterday, the Brewers needed a win in a bad way lest they continue to dig themselves a hole in the chase for this year’s Cactus Cup. Luckily, they were facing off the winless Reds.
Chase Anderson made his first appearance of the spring, and was greeted rudely by Zack Cosart, who hit a one-out solo home run in the first to give Cincinnati a 1-0 lead. Anderson got out of the inning with no further damage, also registering a strikeout.
Milwaukee stormed back quickly in the bottom of the first, as Keon Broxton slugged his first home run of the spring off of Lisalverto Bonilla’s first pitch of the game. Jonathan Villar followed with a double and was driven home by on a single by Scooter Gennett (who is hitting .625 this spring) to give the Brewers a 2-1 lead. The Brewers would load the bases in the inning against Bonilla, but failed to add to their lead.
Tommy Milone and Jacob Barnes each pitched scoreless innings for Milwaukee before Neftali Feliz came on in the fourth to make his unofficial Brewers’ debut. Milwaukee’s presumptive closer got off to a rocky start, allowing a leadoff single to Scott Schebler and an RBI double to Eugenio Suarez to tie the game at two apiece. A groundout, a strikeout, and a flyout later Feliz was able to escape without giving up any more runs.
Things were relatively uneventful for Brewers’ pitching after that. Rob Scahill (1 H, 1 K), Andy Oliver (2 BB, 1 K), Brent Suter (1 K), Aaron Wilkerson (2 H, 1 BB, 1 K) and Paolo Espino (1 BB, 1 K) each posted scoreless innings. Villar had a caught stealing in the 5th ahead of a Scooter Gennett double that could’ve been a run for the Brewers and Kirk Nieuwenhuis was stranded at 2nd after a one-out double in the 6th, but those instances represented the Brewers best scoring opportunities until the bottom of the 9th.
With the game tied still tied 2-2, Mauricio Dubon lead off the bottom of the 9th with a walk. A wild pitch by Ariel Hernandez allowed Dubon to move up to second base, and he advanced to third on a single by Ryan Cordell. A groundout by Yadiel Rivera put runners on 2nd and 3rd with one out and brought Lucas Erceg to the plate. The 2016 draftee singled to right field to score Dubon, giving the Brewers a 3-2 walk off victory.
The Brewers are now 2-3 in Cactus League play and will face off against the Mariners tomorrow at 2:10 PM CST. Matt Garza will face Ariel Miranda, and the game will be available on MLB.com.