WP: Tristan Archer (1-0); LP: D.J. Snelten (0-1); Save: Josh Uhen (1); Homeruns: Mil - none; SF - Nick Hundley (1); Pablo Sandoval (1)
The Milwaukee Brewers sent a split squad to Scottsdale Stadium, home of the San Francisco Giants each spring, and earned a 6-5 win to sweep their two games on the opening day of spring training, if you can earn a win when all six of your runs are unearned. And you thought the Brewers had defensive issues against the Cubs!
Milwaukee spotted the Giants a four run lead in the bottom of the second as minor league pitcher Jon Perrin allowed all of the runs on five hits and a walk, including a home run for Nick Hundley, in 2⁄3 of an inning.
The Brewers began their climb back into the game with a three run fifth. Travis Shaw drove in Jonathan Villar, who had a two out single, and Eric Thames, who had walked, with a single. Both runners had moved up when Trent Grisham reached on an error by Giant third baseman Jonah Arenado. DH Keston Hiura then singled in Grisham (Hiura’s second hit of the day) to pull Milwaukee within one. All three runs were unearned, of course.
After Pablo Sandoval’s homer leading off the bottom of the sixth (off of Radhames Liz) pushed the Giants’ lead back to two (5-3), Milwaukee tied things up with two more of their unearned runs in the top of the seventh. Grisham singled leading off the inning and took second when Giants’ first baseman Kyle Jensen made a throwing error. Keston Hiura walked (pushing his OBP to .750 - how can he not start at second this year? except he DH’d today) to load the bases, and a Mitch Ghelfi fielder’s choice plated the equalizer.
The deciding run in the top of the ninth also came via generosity from the San Francisco defense. Tyler Heineman reached on shortstop Chase d’Arnaud’s error, and was replaced by pinch runner Wendell Rijo. A wild pitch from D.J. Snelten moved Rijo to second, and second baseman Alen Hanson was charged with an error when he couldn’t handle Snelten’s pick-off attempt at second; Rijo came around to score the run for the lead. That run was beautifully gift-wrapped, with a bow. Troy Stokes was at the plate at the time, and actually connected for a triple, but was left stranded.
Josh Uhen came on for the save, and struck out the first batter he faced on three pitches. Then he walked Chris Shaw on four pitches. A first pitch single put runners at first and second; Uhen then had another three pitch strikeout for the second out, but a first pitch wild one moved the runners up, and Gorkys Hernandez walked on four pitches to load the bases. Then d’Arnaud flew out to center to end the ballgame on the first pitch he saw, and give the Brewers the fastest start ever in Cactus League history (tied). So Uhen faced six batters and none of them had both a ball and a strike on them at the same time. That would also be a record, but would be a bit hard to trace. (ed. - it appears that every pitcher did this today. That’s amazing...almost like all of the pitches weren’t being shown. Nevermind.)
The Brewers’ very own Archer (Tristan) earned the win with a perfect eighth inning including two strikeouts.
Lorenzo Cain had hits in both of his at bats in his Spring Training debut.
The Brewers (2-0) will put their perfect record on the line against the Angels (0-1) tomorrow on the road at Diablo Stadium in Tempe. Shohei Ohtani will start for the Halos in his first appearance. Game time is 2:10 Central time, and will air on FSWisconsin, although it will be called by the Angels’ broadcast team.