Braun Doubles, Aguilar Homers (AGAIN) As Brewers Top Padres 5–3
It is becoming more and more perplexing to the writer how Jesus Aguilar was unable to hit a big league home run in his stint with the Cleveland Indians in the last couple seasons.
Sure, it is true that Aguilar is facing spring pitching which may not stand up to the rigors of a major league rotation or bullpen, but so far it seems as if Aguilar’s power is unmatched on the Crew’s roster.
Aguilar, who was acquired on waivers from Cleveland this offseason, crushed his third homer of the spring against the San Diego Padres on Saturday. The three run dinger, coming off of Padres’ pitcher Paul Clemens, was another bomb for Aguilar, who is batting .440 on the spring.
In his limited action with Cleveland over the last few seasons, Aguilar managed only a .172 average with no home runs in the major leagues, despite being scouted as a power bat in the minors.
In fact, Aguilar has always been projected as a power hitter; he hit 30 homers for Cleveland’s AAA affiliate in Columbus.
Aguilar’s three run homer on Saturday proved the difference for the Brewers, as they topped the Padres 5–3. Brewers’ starter Matt Garza went 2.1 innings, giving up two earned runs on three hits. He has not looked sharp so far this spring; the embattled starter holds a 6.75 ERA in his few starts so far.
The winning pitcher on the afternoon was reliever Tyler Cravy, who threw 1.1 innings of shutout baseball. Cravy’s ERA remains at 0.00 (AKA “as good as it gets”).
The other Brewers runs were brought in by star outfielder Ryan Braun, who doubled in an RBI, and Brett Phillips came in on a Rene Garcia single.
It was good to see Braun procure his first hit of the spring, and especially positive that it was an RBI double. His double to deep left brought in Eric Thames, who for the first time this spring batted from the second spot in the order. Thames projects to bat fourth in the Brewers lineup this season, but as it is spring training Brewers’ manager Craig Counsell may as well play around with the lineup card and see if anything sticks as the spring drags on.
As a Brewers fan, I hope to see that Braun/Thames RBI duo countless times this season; they will need to both produce hat a high level for the Brewers to remain (at least slightly) competitive this season.
Brewers’ reliever Andrew Barbosa had a great outing on Saturday, pitching two scoreless innings in relief before handing the ball to Damien Magnifico, who pitched the final inning.
Padres starter Trevor Cahill threw three innings to start the game for San Diego, giving up two earned runs on two hits and two walks. The Padres only had three pitchers throw on Saturday, the least the Brewers have seen from an opposing team this spring. If anything, it is a sign that the regular season, and the meaningful games that come with it, approaches quickly as major league teams allow starters to pitch deeper and deeper into spring games.
The win brought the Brewers up to 9–7 on the spring, good for fourth in the Cactus League. The loss dropped the Padres to 6–8 and keeps them in the middle of the pack in the Cactus League as well.
The Cactus Crew will look to improve to 10–7 on the spring as they take on the Cincinnati Reds who sit at 5–11 so far this spring, good for second to last in the Cactus League.
Big right handed hurler Jimmy Nelson will take the mound for the Crew tomorrow as the Reds will send veteran Bronson Arroyo to the hill.
A final bulletin — get excited, Brewers fans; there are only 22 days left until opening day.
Next Game: Sunday @ Reds, 2:05 PM