WP: Jhoulys Chacin (2-1); LP: Carson Fulmer (0-4); Save: none; Homer runs: CWS - none; Mil - Ryan Braun 2 (2), Travis Shaw (4), Jake Hager (1), Keon Broxton (2)
The Milwaukee Brewers (13-6-1) used an early onslaught rather than a late rally to roll over the Chicago White Sox (9-9) at Maryvale today, and in the process moved to the front of the Chicago Cubs (12-6) who lost to the Royals 7-6.
Ryan Braun got things going in the bottom of the first for Milwaukee with a solo shot to center. After Jhoulys Chacin tossed his second 1-2-3 inning in the top of the second the Brewers built a lead that they would hold all day by plating six. A bases loaded walk to Christian Yelich bumped the lead to 2-0, and then Braun drove a grand slam homer out to left center. Travis Shaw followed with a solo homer to move it to 7-0. Shaw now has four dingers this spring, leading the team. Braun’s moonshots were first two long balls of the spring.
Chacin ran into some trouble in the top of the fourth, allowing three runs - but all three runs were unearned due to a throwing error by shortstop Orlando Arcia. This was Arcia’s fourth error of the Cactus League season, and the Brewers committed two more errors on the day; all were throwing errors. Chacin ended up going 4.2 innings and looks to be solidly prepped for the coming regular season.
Milwaukee padded their lead to 8-3 in the bottom of the sixth when a leadoff double by Jonathan Villar was cashed in on an RBI ground out by Jake Gatewood. Two more came across in the next inning on a two run home run by minor leaguer Jake Hager, driving in Brett Phillips, who had reached on an error. The Brewers finished their scoring in the bottom of the eighth with a solo homer (the Brewers’ fifth of the day) from Keon Broxton. Broxton now has two this spring; it was Hager’s first.
Yovani Gallardo’s first outing as an assigned member of the bullpen was a success. He allowed a lead-off double but retired the next six, striking out three. Boone Logan had a runner reach on an error but allowed nothing else, and Taylor Williams continued his good spring with a perfect ninth, including a strikeout.
Not that it matters, but if you are worried about the Brewers’ rotation, at least it doesn’t include Carson Fulmer; Fulmer now is 0-4 in four starts, with an ERA of 18.90 over 6.2 innings. His WHIP is 4.2. For the uninitiated that is an average of 4.2 baserunners (through Walks and Hits) for every inning he works. Yikes.
Tomorrow, on the Ides of March, Milwaukee travels to Surprise to face the Texas Rangers. The Crew looks to build on their half game lead over the Cubs. The Brewers will send lefty Brent Suter, who is 2-0 and unscored upon this spring, out to face the Rangers’ Doug Fister. Fister is also unscored upon, having worked three innings in his one start.