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Brewers beat Diamondbacks 5-4, Jeffress exits game after just three pitches

Erik Kratz leads the Brewers offense with three hits and a homer

MLB: NLCS-Los Angeles Dodgers at Milwaukee Brewers Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

Milwaukee hosted the Arizona Diamondbacks for the second time this spring. Jhoulys Chacin was the initial out getter for the Brewers and Robbie Ray took the ball for the Diamondbacks. Arizona opened the scoring in the top of the second as Steven Souza Jr. just cleared the centerfield wall for a home run. The Brewers’ backup to the backup catcher, Erik Kratz, hit his own solo shot in the bottom of the second to tie it 1-1.

Chacin pitched well giving up the one run in three innings. After delaying his debut by a few days because of shoulder tightness, Jeremy Jeffress took the mound for the Brew Crew in the fourth. He pitched Eduardo Escobar to an 0-2 count when Travis Shaw and Manny Pina went to the mound to see if he was okay. Manager, Craig Counsell, and the Brewers’ trainer, Scott Barringer, followed from the dugout. Jeffress then exited the game, supposedly for precautionary purposes as he was still having shoulder soreness.

The 5’6” Clayton Andrews took over for Jeffress. Escobar punched a single into shallow left field. David Peralta followed that with a double into the left field gap, scoring Escobar, making the score 2-1.

Robbie Ray pitched well for the first 3 23 innings, striking out eight, but he ran into trouble in the fourth. With two outs in the inning, Manny Pina doubled into the left field corner. Eric Thames followed with a mammoth blast over the right field crosswalk. That made the score 3-2 and chased Robbie Ray from the game.

Corey Knebel covered the fifth inning in a very effective manner. Josh Hader took over the sixth. On one pitch to David Peralta, the pitch was virtually in the glove before he swung the bat. Harder subsequently wiped out the All-Star outfielder with a devastating slider. After striking out Souza to end the sixth, Hader-aid faced six batters thus far in Spring Teaining action. In all six cases, the hitter struck out.

Travis Shaw opened the bottom of the sixth with a single. Nate Orf replaced Shaw as a pitch runner. Eric Thames singled Orf to third and was, himself, replaced by pitch runner, Lucas Erceg. Eric Kratz got his third hit of the day on an infield single, scoring Orf, making it 4-2.

Jacob Barnes pitched a scoreless seventh inning, and Burch Smith struggled through the eighth. He walked Juniel Querecuto. Yasmany Tomas lined a double down the right field line, plating Querecuto. Andrew Alpin then tied the game with a single to right.

Nate Orf got the bottom of the eighth going with a walk. He then stole second and advanced to third on a bad throw from the catcher. Lucas Erceg scored Orf with a single to left field, breaking the tie. Adrian Houser handled the save, and the Brew Crew won, 5-4.

The Brewers, now 5-7 in the Cactus League, play tomorrow against the White Sox at 2:05 CST at Camelback Ranch in Glendale, Arizona. The game will be televised on CWS TV and on the radio via WGN. Zach Davies is scheduled to start against Carlos Rodon.