The Brewers spent their final game under the big desert sun dominant over the Cincinnati Reds. All systems were go for Corbin Burnes, Kolten Wong, and Christian Yelich, who signaled that they are ready to move into critical roles in the regular season. Jackie Bradley Jr., Orlando Arcia, Travis Shaw, and Brent Suter also put up solid performances indicative of their regular season potential. The day ended in a 7-1 victory for the Crew.
Kolten Wong was shining in the leadoff spot in the top and the bottom of early innings. He opened up ranging to center to throw out Jesse Winker on all but routine grounder up the middle.
Kolten Wong just ranged all the way into center field for a grounder and threw out Jesse Winker to begin the Brewers' final Arizona exhibition. Sweetness peach, what a play.— Adam McCalvy (@AdamMcCalvy) March 28, 2021
He then opened up the next two innings with leadoff hits, a line-drive single to right to open the first, and a leadoff double in the second. The Brewers rallied around Wong’s leadoff production. In the first, Jackie Bradley Jr. walked behind Wong’s single, making Avisial Garcia’s one-out blast a three-run home run. Orlando Arcia later drove in Dan Vogelbach on a line-drive single. Vogelbach had previously reached on a walk and advanced to third on a Travis Shaw single.
In the second, Jackie Bradley Jr. singled to drive in Wong from second. Christian Yelich smacked his first Spring Training triple to score JBJ from first, putting the Brewers up 6-0 in the second.
With that RBI triple, Christian Yelich has a hit in five of his last six games, an RBI in four of his last five games, and is hitting .400 with a 1.403 OPS this spring. pic.twitter.com/kma1sl2GYJ— Adam McCalvy (@AdamMcCalvy) March 28, 2021
Corbin Burnes was entirely dominant through the first four innings, retiring the first ten batters he faced, striking out seven, allowing only one walk, and keeping the Reds scoreless and hitless until Taylor Naquin’s leadoff home run in the fifth. He quickly surrendered two more hits to Tyler Stephenson and Kyle Farmer, who immediately followed Naquin’s home runs with singles. Burnes ended the inning without further damage. He maintained upper 90s speed and good movement on his pitches to strikeout Jonathan India and Alex Blandino. Corey Ray cleanly fielded the long fly ball Burnes allowed Deivy Frullon.
Inclusive of that well-managed skid, Burnes looked ready for the regular season. The Reds, as a unit, looked like they were still in the rolled-inning days of Spring Training. They cycled through six pitchers before Burnes allowed a hit. Burnes pitched five innings, walked two, and struck out nine.
Jacob Nottingham, who’s been relatively quiet at the plate since his return in mid-March, helped tack on another run in the fifth with a double to drive in pinch-runner Zach Green.
Brent Suter cruised through the final two innings after taking over for Corbin Burnes. He allowed a hit to Tyler Stephenson but induced four groundouts, including a last inning double play to finish off the contest after seven innings with the Brewers up 7-1.
The Brewers return for a couple of exhibition games before Opening Day on Thursday, April 1, against the Minnesota Twins. They’ll take on the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Field on Monday and Tuesday.