WP: Jhoulys Chacin (3-1); LP: Santiago Casilla (0-1); Save: none; Home runs: Mil - Christian Yelich (2), Christian Bethancourt (2), Troy Stokes (1); Oak - none
The Milwaukee Brewers (19-9-2) raced out to a 5-0 lead against the Oakland A’s (13-14-2) after two innings today in Mesa, and cruised to a 10-5 win in their penultimate contest of the 2018 Cactus League season. The win clinched the coveted Cactus Cup for the Maryvale Nine, with a final tune-up game tomorrow against the White Sox.
The Crew plated a lead in the top of the first today with a leadoff home run by Christian Yelich. Yelich has two homers this spring, and both have been of the leadoff variety. Yelich opened things up for Milwaukee with a bases loaded, bases clearing double in the top of the second to put the Champs up 4-0, then scored on a Lorenzo Cain base knock to push the margin to five.
The A’s got two runs in the bottom of the fourth off of Milwaukee starter Jhoulys Chacin with an RBI triple and a ground out, but their comeback didn’t hold.
Milwaukee got one back in the top of the fifth on an rbi single from spring sensation Ji-Man Choi, added a sixth inning tally on Christian Bethancourt’s second homerun of the spring, plated two in the seventh on rbi singles from Blake Allemand and Nate Orf, and capped off their scoring in the eighth with a solo homerun by Troy Stokes, his first of the spring.
Chacin worked into the fifth, going 4 1⁄3 innings and allowing five hits. He walked none and fanned two. Matt Albers finished the fifth with no trouble and Josh Hader had a dominant sixth, allowing a bunt single but striking out the side. Jacob Barnes gave up a hit and a walk but no runs (one strikeout) in the seventh, and Radhames Liz worked the eighth with no damage.
Alec Kenilvort took the ninth inning, immediately working into trouble with a double and RBI single from the first two hitters. He then issued a walk and finally had a strikeout. Kenilvort worked 19 1⁄3 innings for the low-A T-Rats last year and struck out 30, but allowed 25 hits and 6 walks for an ERA of 6.98. (His ERA this spring ends up at 81.00).
Kenilvort was relieved by Quentin Torres-Costa and he walked his first opponent. A sac fly and double followed, bringing the A’s within 10-5. The game finally ended on a strikeout, and the Crew took their championship in stride with no on-field shenanigans or clubhouse champagne.
So there shouldn’t be too much of a hangover for the Brewers in tomorrow’s final spring outing against the Chisox. Milwaukee hasn’t announced a starting pitcher yet, undoubtedly waiting to see if it was a must-win contest or not. They might have had to start Chase Anderson if they had lost today, pushing him back to begin the regular season. But no need! Congrats to the Crew and the BCB Faithful!. I can smell a T-Shirt in our future.