MLB

Marcum sharp in delayed debut for Brewers

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PHOENIX (AP)

Shaun Marcum showed little rust in his delayed debut.

Marcum pitched three scoreless innings and the Milwaukee Brewers beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 7-1 Sunday.

''I got away with some but for the most part I located the fastball where I wanted to,'' Marcum said. ''I can't really do my normal spring training routine where I focus on my fastball and changeup and then work everything else in.''

Marcum was kept off the mound for most of the month because of right shoulder soreness. He only returned to baseball activities in the last two weeks.

Marcum signed a one-year contract in early February to avoid arbitration and he said he'd like to remain with the Brewers but there have been no talks about a long-term contract.

''I'd like to stay but there's not a whole lot I can do about it,'' said Marcum. ''I love it here. My wife loves it here. I'm not going to close the door, but if they close the door then it's closed.''

Brewers general manager Doug Melvin said the club hasn't looked quite that far ahead.

''We've never really engaged in (talking about) a long-term deal with him,'' Melvin said. ''That doesn't mean we wouldn't later on. I was encouraged by the way he threw the ball today. Having him healthy is the main thing.''

Marcum retired the first five batters he faced and allowed only a walk to Trent Oeltjen in the second inning and Jerry Hairston's ground single up the middle in the third.

Marcum finished with three strikeouts.

''I'm not going to go out there and push it too much,'' Marcum said. ''The next start I should get to 60 pitches and I'll be able to go from there.''

Clayton Kershaw pitched in and out of trouble, allowing two runs and six hits in six innings with two walks and two strikeouts.

''Physically, this is the best I've felt,'' Kershaw said. ''Everything felt good but the slider wasn't where it needs to be. It's not where I'd like it to be but hopefully it gets there the next time.''

Norichika Aoki hit his first home run since signing with Milwaukee from Japan's Central League this winter. Rickie Weeks added an RBI double for Milwaukee.

Brewers closer John Axford struggled again, loading the bases in the fifth on two walks and a single before escaping with only one run scoring.

Axford received some help from Kershaw, who tried advancing from second on a throw home on a sacrifice fly and was thrown out easily at third.

Hairston was given anti-inflammatory medication after he talked to team doctors Saturday about feeling the lingering effects of a shoulder injury sustained in last year's playoffs. He was reluctant at first but is happy with the results.

''I feel like me,'' Hairston said. ''I'm glad I said something because I felt a lot better.''

Spring training had been a struggle for Hairston, who committed five throwing errors in 10 before Saturday.

Hairston was told the shoulder was sound structurally.

NOTES: Dodgers manager Don Mattingly came out of the dugout after the fifth to interrupt an argument between C A.J. Ellis and home plate umpire Alfonso Marquez. . Dodgers RHP Ted Lilly has been scratched from his regular start Wednesday with a stiff neck and also could miss his first regular-season start April 7. Lilly skipped a scheduled bullpen session on Saturday and also was off the field on Sunday. . Milwaukee returned C Mike Rivera to minor league camp earlier Sunday. . Brewers LF Ryan Braun was given the day off after playing the past two days. . Most of the contingent of Japanese reporters covering the Brewers arrived only minutes before the first pitch after watching Rangers starter Yu Darvish throw in an intrasquad game 20 miles away in Surprise.

Tagged: Brewers, Dodgers, Ted Lilly, Shaun Marcum, Clayton Kershaw

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