Published March 09, 2012
PHOENIX – Randy Wolf didn't yield a hit, but the Milwaukee left-hander was a tad miffed at not making it through three complete innings.
Wolf and five relievers held the Cleveland Indians to three hits and the Brewers belted four home runs in a 12-2 win Friday.
Cristian Guzman lined a single to center with two outs in the seventh off Manny Parra for Cleveland's first hit. Felix Pie had a bloop double in the eighth and Andy LaRoche hit a two-run double in the ninth.
Mat Gamel hit a two-run homer, while Nyjer Morgan, Brooks Conrad and Jonathan Lucroy had solo shots for Milwaukee, which totaled 16 hits.
"They hit us around pretty good," Indians manager Manny Acta said. "It looked like the wind was blowing out for only one team."
Wolf worked 2 2-3 innings and had two of the Brewers' nine strikeouts. The left-hander retired eight straight, then issued two walks and was replaced by Juan Perez, who struck out Jason Kipnis.
"You get kind of in game mode and want to finish the inning," Wolf said, "but you kind of understand what's going on, too. It was a good spot for Perez to come in there, with men on base and facing a lefty, and do that part of the job, too."
Wolf was pleased with the overall off-speed command.
"My changeup is a lot better than in previous springs," Wolf said. "That's one goal I had coming in was to have a better changeup. My cutter and curveball have both been good."
Cleveland starter Derek Lowe gave up three runs on four hits over three innings. He also walked three.
"Of all our pitchers, Derek probably threw the ball the best, but was hurt by walks. He threw some good sinkers and sliders," Acta said.
Non-roster Indians invitees Dan Wheeler and Chris Ray were hit hard. Acta said neither veteran would be judged on one outing.
Lowe judged himself and received a poor grade.
"It was not a very good outing, but I'll just have to move on and work on gaining better command," he said. "The walks got me. I'm going to give up hits. I know that. Walks just add extra guys on base."
With Chris Gomez on second following a walk and stolen base in the third, Lowe got two quick strikes on reigning NL MVP Ryan Braun, but walked him, too. Travis Ishikawa followed with an RBI single for a 3-0 lead.
Ishikawa's leadoff walk in the second and a wild pitch helped Milwaukee score twice in the second.
Lucroy had three hits and is batting .636 (7 for 11) this spring.
"He is really swinging the bat well," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. "We weren't sure we were going to give him that last at-bat and then he goes deep. He's really seeing the ball. That's a good sign early. He did a nice job behind the plate, too."
Notes: Brewers RHP Mark Rogers is scheduled to pitch Saturday, one week after leaving an intrasquad game with a mildly strained left hamstring. ... Indians LHP Rafael Perez (shoulder soreness) felt OK one day after throwing Thursday. He will face hitters on the sidelines before progressing to game action. ... Acta remains astounded at a fortune cookie message he got Thursday: "Your sports franchise will have a successful year." Acta said he puts more faith in good pitching, hitting and fielding than proverbs. "I never read those things, but friends said to do it. I couldn't believe it," he said.