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Zach Davies turns in another strong spring start, Brewers lose 9-5

Davies allows 1 run in 4 innings before bullpen candidates have a rough afternoon

MLB: Spring Training-San Diego Padres at Milwaukee Brewers Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

In all likelihood, Zach Davies had a good handle on a rotation spot, even after his injury-plagued 2018 season.

At this point, his spring training performance has likely locked that up. While results aren’t important in the grand scheme of things, Davies has looked sharp in just about every outing so far -- even more impressive for a guy who has typically struggled to get going in the early season for much of his career.

That continued Thursday, with Davies throwing 4 strong innings against the Chicago White Sox, allowing just one run on 4 hits and a walk, striking out 2.

The Brewers bats had a hard time getting anything going early, as opposing starter -- and former Brewers draft pick -- Carlos Rodon was very sharp, allowing just 1 hit over 4 innings.

The offense picked up in a big way for both teams after the initial out-getters left the game. The Brewers were able to tie the game at 1 when Tyler Saladino homered against his former teammates, but the White Sox got two back in the bottom half of the inning against Angel Perdomo. Jon Freaking Jay gave Chicago the lead back with an RBI single against a drawn-in infield, and then scored later in the inning on a sacrifice fly after Corey Ray made a weak throw that bounced well short of home plate.

Chicago added two more runs in the 6th inning against Jay Jackson, who was unable to finish the inning when he loaded the bases after already surrendering an RBI double and RBI single. He was replaced by Bubba Derby, who got out of that inning but did not fare well in the next.

In between, the Brewers made a rally, scoring 4 runs in the top of the 7th to tie the game at 5. Manny Pina hit an inside the park home run when former Brewers farmhand Nicky Delmonico crashed into a gate in the left field fence, hitting his head and actually forcing the gate open in the collision. Delmonico remained on the ground and had to be carted off the field before being evaluated for a concussion.

Following that, Cory Spangenberg singled and Saladino doubled to put two runners on for Troy Stokes, Jr., who crushed a Weeks-ian distance game-tying three-run home run.

Unfortunately for the Brewers’ Cactus Cup chances, that momentum was short-lived, as Derby gave 4 runs back in the bottom half of the inning, with most of the damage coming on a three-run home run by Danny Mendick, which was preceded by an RBI single by former Brewers prospect Ryan Cordell.

Another (almost) former Brewer -- Dylan Covey -- closed out the game for the White Sox with 2 hitless innings.

Overall, it was a rough afternoon for a couple guys on minor league contracts trying to steal bullpen spots -- Perdomo and Jackson -- but Davies looks like he’s nearly ready to face the St. Louis Cardinals on Opening Weekend.

The Brewers are back on FS Wisconsin and the Brewers Radio Network tomorrow afternoon, with an even earlier start time of 1:05 p.m. against the Arizona Diamondbacks.