“Fastball” Freddy Peralta got the start for the home tonight in this afternoon’s tilt at American Family Fields of Phoenix, and looked pretty sharp during his first two official innings of the spring. He navigated through two scoreless frames while allowing only one hit and striking out two. His fastball was routinely at 94 and both his whiffs came on 84 MPH offspeed pitches.
In fact, just about every pitcher who toed the rubber today in Maryvale was on point. Two players expected to be fixtures in the bullpen — righty David Phelps and southpaw Alex Claudio — fired scoreless innings. Triple-A starters Aaron Wilkerson and Thomas Jankins joined them. Quintin Torres-Costa worked around a pair of walks to post a zero. And perhaps most notably, former top prospect Phil Bickford struck out the side during a perfect ninth inning.
The only man who didn’t throw up a goose egg was flamethrowing Justin Topa, who got hit around a bit in the seventh. He allowed a leadoff double to Evan White followed by a single to Wisconsin-native Jarred Kelenic, and an error by outfielder Cooper Hummel allowed the run to score. Another single by Brian O’Keefe brought home the second run, and that would be all Seattle needed to achieve a victory.
Milwaukee recorded only three hits as a team — singles by Jedd Gyorko and Mark Mathias, and a double by Luis Castro. That two-bagger also provided the lone RBI for the Cactus Crew, scoring Payton Henry, who had drawn a walk. Castro was also part of the game’s defensive highlight, throwing to cut-off man Brice Turang at shortstop, who relayed home to Henry to nail JP Crawford in the 6th innings as he attempted to score on a single by Kyle Lewis.
The Brewers fall to 2-2 in Cactus League play, while Seattle records their first victory of the spring. Milwaukee hits the road tomorrow, heading to Scottsdale to face off against the Giants beginning at 2:05 PM CT. Josh Lindblom will take the ball first facing off against Jeff Samardzija.