GOODYEAR, Ariz. (AP) Michael Brantley and Jason Kipnis drove in two runs apiece to send the Cleveland Indians to their 18th win of the spring, 10-2 over the Milwaukee Brewers on Wednesday.
Brantley tripled, singled and walked to increase his spring average to .522.
”He is such a good hitter,” manager Terry Francona said. ”Regardless of what he does opening day. I can see him getting better as he learns the league.”
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Kipnis doubled and singled. Lonnie Chisenhall hit his third home run off Brewers starter Yovanni Gallardo. Nick Swisher went deep against Francisco Rodriguez.
The Brewers managed three singles against Justin Masterson, who had his final spring start before opening the season on the mound in Oakland.
”I don’t know what the numbers are but Masty came in prepared to haul a lot of innings,” Francona said.
Carlos Gomez singled and robbed catcher Luke Carlin of an extra-base hit, making a leaping catch against the centerfield wall.
Brewer’s minor leaguer Mitch Haniger hit his second home run off Vinnie Pestano.
Brewers: Gallardo will be the opening day starter when Milwaukee hosts Atlanta. It will be the Gallardo’s fifth opening day start. This final tuneup was Gallardo’s sixth start of the spring. He came into the game with a 2.45 ERA in 18 1/3 innings.
Gallardo pitched two innings and three batters into the third. He allowed four runs on six hits and four walks against the Indians.
”I felt good in the bullpen,” Gallardo said. ”You never want that to happen but if it’s going to happen, it’s better that it happens in spring training. I honestly felt it was the best the ball was coming out of my hand this spring. I guess I tried to do too much.”
Indians: Masterson pitched 5 2/3 innings, allowing one run on three singles and two walks. He struck out five.
”We’re as ready as you can be,” Masterson said. ”You never know until you get there but we’re having fun. I hope we can carry it over into game one. I’m always working on stuff. I may have used pitch sequences differently. I like to keep a few things in my back pocket.”
Brewers: Shortstop Jean Segura has a sore shoulder. He took some at bats in a minor league game. He hasn’t played since March 18.
Indians: The Indians 25-man roster is set. Jason Giambi will be added to the 40-man roster and start the season on the disabled list. He was hit by a pitch by Edwin Jackson of the Cubs on March 7. The Indians will put Giambi on the disabled list formally on Sunday.
Danny Salazar will make the first home start of the season against Minnesota on April 4. Salazar started spring as the fifth starter as he was brought along slowly by the Indians.
”It just happened to lineup that way,” Francona said. ”We would have had to move two guys around. That didn’t make sense to me.”
”I was surprised,” said Salazar, who also pitched the final game at Progressive Field in the wild card loss to Tampa Bay. ”It is exciting. I’m ready for it. I started behind the other pitchers so I thought I was fifth until this morning. It will be exciting like the playoff game, just a little less pressure.”
Carlos Carrasco was told he earned the fifth spot in the Indians rotation this morning. The 27-year old made five trips to Cleveland in 2013 bouncing between Triple A Columbus and the majors, his last option year.
He was 1-4 with a 6.75 ERA but played a key role out of the bullpen during the Indians stretch run.
Carrasco competed with Josh Tomlin, Aaron Harang and Trevor Bauer for his place in the rotation.
Tomlin was optioned to Triple-A Columbus.
Tomlin is recovering from elbow reconstruction surgery and has options. The Indians want him to get consistent work rather than working out of the bullpen. Harang was released and signed by the Atlanta Braves. Bauer was sent to Columbus on Monday.