Gallardo strong, Brewers top Kansas City
PHOENIX (AP) — Ryan Braun is ready to break camp.
“Fun and spring training don’t normally go together in the same sentence,” Braun said after the Milwaukee Brewers beat a Kansas City Royals split squad 9-1 Wednesday.
“The mornings are fun. But for us, the spring training games are not fun,” he said.
Braun got a hit and scored a run in the Brewers’ final home exhibition in Arizona. They visit the Rockies’ complex Thursday, then host the Chicago White Sox in a pair of games at Miller Park.
Alex Gonzalez homered, singled and drove in two runs and Aramis Ramirez added a two-run single for Milwaukee.
“Everybody seemed be swinging the bat today,” Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. “We’re going to be scoring a lot of runs if we do stuff like this.”
Yovani Gallardo threw 6 1-3 innings of two-hit ball in his final outing ahead of fourth straight opening day start. He allowed a solo homer to Xavier Nady, walked three and struck out two.
“Going into the start today I wanted to tighten things up and get ready for the season,” he said. “I fell behind a few guys but I made pitches when I needed to to get groundballs.”
In his final two outings, Gallardo gave up one earned and six hits in 11 2-3 innings with five walks and five strikeouts.
“It’s exciting and encouraging for us because he’s our ace as he has been for the last few years,” Braun said. “Knowing that heading into the season he’s looking as good as I’ve seen him heading into a year is encouraging.”
Luis Mendoza, picked Tuesday for the fifth spot in Kansas City’s rotation, made his second start since returning from the World Baseball Classic. He allowed six runs — four earned — and 10 hits in 5 2-3 innings.
“Most of the hits were ground balls, and that’s what I was looking for,” Mendoza said. “That means my ball is moving down. The hits, that’s part of the game.”
NOTES: Before the game, the Brewers released INF Donnie Murphy to make room for the newly signed Yuniesky Betancourt. … Milwaukee put 1B Corey Hart and IF Jeff Bianchi on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to March 22. Hart had surgery in January to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee and Bianchi has left hip bursitis. . Kansas City received OF Desmond Henry from Texas as the player to be named in the Nov. 8 trade for LHP Tommy Hottovy. The 19-year-old Henry has played 25 games total the past two seasons for the Rangers’ Arizona Rookie League squad. … The Royals re-signed LHP George Sherrill and Nady to minor league contracts. Nady started at first base. Both players had been released by the team on Monday. . The Royals optioned LHPs Donnie Joseph Francisley Bueno to Triple-A Omaha and assigning non-roster invitee LHP Atahualpa Severino to minor league camp. Bueno went 1-1 with a 1.56 ERA in 11 relief appearances last season with Kansas City. Joseph had an impressive camp, with a 1.80 ERA in 10 relief appearances. The rookie struck out 14 in 10 innings while giving up just three hits. Bruce Chen, the Royals’ 2012 opening day starter, and Tim Collins, who led AL relievers with 93 strikeouts last season, will be the lefties in the Kansas City bullpen. … The Royals also optioned utilityman Irving Falu, who hit .341 in 24 games last season, to Omaha. With Falu optioned, the Royals are likely to keep 38-year-old Miguel Tejada, the 2002 AL MVP, as a backup infielder.