Matt Garza made his much-anticipated return to the diamond today against the Cleveland Indians. In the leadoff position, Jason Kipnis smoked a ball straight into Garza’s shin, but Garza was able to overcome. Overall Garza gave up just one home run in 1 2/3 innings (giving that up to Collin Cowgill), walked two and struck out two before reaching his pitch limit. The Brewers would go on to win 6-5.
The hero of the day once again belonged to Yadiel Rivera, who hit his second consecutive walk-off home run.
Tom Haudricourt pointed out that Rivera only had two total home runs in the minors last year.
Following the game, Rivera asserted that he’s always had the offensive pop saying “It’s been there,” he said. “Now it’s coming out.”. Rivera was a ninth-round draft pick in 2010 and made his major league debut late last season with the Brewers. Manager Craig Counsell also took note on Rivera’s defense following the game
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“Defensively, we’ve all noticed some of the double plays he turned here that were really impressive,” Counsell said. “He’s certainly a player we’ve taken note of early. He’s a very good defensive player, and getting lots of at-bats at higher levels are helping him.”
Rivera also had an RBI double in the seventh and then walked off when he connected on a pitch from Ryan Merrit. Mike Napoli posted up a home run for the Indians while Chris Carter hit one as well for the Brewers. Hernan Perez had two hits for the Brewers and Ramon Flores added an RBI single. 2B Jacob Elmore contributed to an RBI as well.
On the pitching side, Cravy gave up one hit and struck out 1 in two IP while Guerra gave up three hits and four runs in 1.2 IP. The Brewers maintain their perfect record thus far through Spring Training.