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Zach Davies and bullpen lead Brewers to 1-0 shutout win over Royals

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Can you smell that Cactus Cup?

MLB: Cincinnati Reds at Milwaukee Brewers
Very nice start for Zach!
Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

WP: Zach Davies (2-0); LP: Nate Karns (1-2); Save: Nate Griep (2); Home runs: KC - none; Mil- Brett Phillips (2)

Box Score

Spring training games that end 1-0 don’t lend themselves to much for a recap to talk about. The game ended in less than 2 12 hours, so I couldn’t even get in my mid-game nap.

The Milwaukee Brewers (18-8-2) rode a strong pitching performance to edge the Kansas City Royals (15-11) at Maryvale this afternoon. Zach Davies turned in a very solid five innings, allowing just four hits and a walk with no runs and three strikeouts. Davies will get one more start in an exhibition game with the Houston Astros before starting the Brewers’ home opener on Monday, April 2nd against the Cardinals.

J.J. Hoover and Oliver Drake had scoreless relief appearances, totaling three innings for two hits, no walks, and three strikeouts. The ninth went to last year’s closer for the Carolina Mudcats, Nate Griep, who earned his second save of the spring with a perfect inning that included two strikeouts. Griep had 30 saves last year in Class-A Advanced.

The Brewers lone run came on a solo home run from Brett Phillips. Maverick took Royals’ starter Nate Karns deep in the fourth for the only damage the Crew could create in five innings against the KC righty. In all Milwaukee could manage just the one run on ten hits and four walks. This was unusually poor scoring per base runner this spring for the Brewers but a solid pitching performance made it stand up.

Defensively, the Brewers aided their pitching with three double plays, including a nifty 3-6-3 DP to end the top of the eighth, from Hernan Perez to Orlando Arcia and back to Perez.

Now for the important stuff: If the Cubs lose tonight at San Francisco, the Brewers will have an opportunity to clinch the Cactus Cup tomorrow when they meet in Mesa. Brandon Woodruff goes for the Crew against an unannounced Cub starter. The Cubs must be waiting to see if it’s a must game or not. I suspect they’ve saved Yu Darvish for this one.