Fresh off receiving the good news that he’d begin the year in the starting rotation for the Milwaukee Brewers, Corbin Burnes toed the slab to begin today’s tilt against the Los Angeles Dodgers. He was pickin’ ‘em up and settin’ ‘em down early on, allowing only two hits and two walks through the first four innings. Then he ran into trouble in the fifth.
With one out, Burnes committed one of the cardinal sins for a pitcher — allowing a base hit to his opposing number, Hyun-Jin Ryu. Former Brewer Brad Miller followed Ryu with a single of his own to bring Justin Turner to the plate. He deposited a 1-0 offering from Burnes over the fence in left-center to give the Dodgers a 3-0 lead. Burnes finished his day with those three runs allowed on five hits after 5.0 innings, with the two walks but an impressive nine punchouts.
Ryu himself also held the Brewers scoreless through four innings before he started having problems in the fifth. After a leadoff single by Hernan Perez, Yasmani Grandal walloped his first home run of the spring to cut the lead to 3-2. Then Ryu allowed allowed consecutive singles to Ben Gamel and Christian Yelich to lead off the sixth and was pulled in favor of Pedro Baez. The Human Rain Delay walked Ryan Braun to load the bases, and after a punchout of Travis Shaw, Cody Asche’s error at third base on a batted ball by Hernan Perez scored Gamel to tie things up at 3-3. That brought out Caleb Ferguson from the Dodgers’ bullpen, and he walked Grandal to force home Milwaukee’s fourth run. A sac fly by Mike Moustakas accounted for the second out and the fifth run. Then, Tyler Saladino cracked his third dinger of the spring to make it 8-3.
The Brewers added their final three runs in the seventh inning, which started with a double by Yelich. Ryan Braun singled the other way to score pinch-runner Dillon Thomas. Hernan Perez later hit a one-out double which moved pinch-runner Chad McClanahan up third third, and Corey Ray doubled both of them for Milwaukee’s 10th and 11th runs.
Jake Petricka relieved Burnes in the sixth and tossed a scoreless frame with a walk and a strikeout, lowering his spring ERA to 2.70. A-ball reliever Rodrigo Benoit allowed two runs in the seventh inning on three hits, including a homer by Cody Asche. Taylor Williams pitched a clean eighth with a strikeout, and he’s allowed only one run in 9.1 innings this spring. Prospect Luke Barker, who won the Carolina League Reliever of the Year award in 2018, finished things off with a scoreless inning in the ninth to secure the 11-5 victory.
Milwaukee takes on the Reds tomorrow at AmFam Fields of Phoenix, with first pitch scheduled for 3:05 PM central. Fifth-starter Zach Davies is slated to take on Robert Stephenson.