It’s tough to win in baseball if you don’t put the ball in play, and that’s exactly how the Milwaukee Brewers defeated the Texas Rangers in their exhibition game on Monday night. The staff for the Brew Crew allowed only three hits while striking out 16 on their way to pitching a shutout at Globe Life Field.
Adrian Houser got the start for Milwaukee, and after struggling with his results during most of the spring, he finished with a flourish in his final tune up before the regular season. Houser allowed only two hits, with both of them coming in the first inning of the game. He walked the leadoff batter in the second, then retired the final 13 batters he faced as he worked into the sixth inning. Houser was lifted after 77 pitches, topping out at 96 MPH with his sinker, and finished with a line of 5.2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, and 6 K.
Milwaukee’s offense got on the board early and never looked back. In the second inning, facing old friend and former ace Jordan Lyles (who has pitched well this spring), Avisail Garcia led off with a walk. A Jackie Bradley, Jr. double moved the runners to second and third, and Omar Narvaez pushed the first run across with an RBI groundout. In the third, Luis Urias — newly anointed as the regular shortstop — doubled to lead off then scored on a one-out single by Keston Hiura.
The Brewers tallied their final two runs in the sixth inning. Facing Hyeon-Jong Yang, Christian Yelich walked to get the frame started. After consecutive flyouts, Lorenzo Cain and Narvaez drew back-to-back walks to load the bases for Orlando Arcia. He lined a ground rule double to right center for a pair of RBI to make it 4-0.
Angel Perdomo allowed a hit but also recorded a punchout to end the sixth in relief of Houser. Then Josh Hader, Devin Williams, and Brad Boxberger each threw a scoreless inning to close out the game. All three of them struck out the side in order, meaning that Milwaukee pitching ended the game by recording 10 consecutives whiffs.
The Brewers will conclude their exhibition schedule on Tuesday afternoon with one final game against the Rangers before heading back home to Milwaukee for the start of the regular season. Today’s tilt will feature Brett Anderson against Mike Foltynewicz, with first pitch scheduled for 1:05 PM central.