Brewers 11, Diamondbacks 8

March 10, 2011

Randy Wolf is entering his 13th major league season, long enough to know not to make too much of a bad spring start or two.

So his second rough outing in as many tries this year mostly was just annoying. The Milwaukee left-hander allowed a grand slam to minor leaguer Collin Cowgill in a five-run first inning of the Brewers' 11-8 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Wednesday.

''I've had incredibly good springs and incredibly bad springs,'' Wolf said, ''and I've realized that they've never had any indication of how the season's going to go.''

Wolf, who figures to move up in the rotation because Zack Greinke is likely to start the season on the disabled list, regrouped to throw a scoreless second and even doubled in a run in Milwaukee's four-run second inning.


Wolf allowed five runs and five hits in one inning in his first start of the spring a week ago.

''I know how I feel physically. I know how my arm feels,'' he said. ''I know where the pitches were. It's really just a matter of me just getting my rhythm and getting my release point to a consistent place to where I'm throwing the ball where I want to.''

It's that familiar baseball term ''command.''

''Today I walked a few guys and got behind a few guys and wasn't throwing the ball were I wanted to,'' Wolf said. ''I did a few times but it wasn't consistent. The one thing about spring training is that sometimes you come and you're just honed in and sometimes it takes you a little bit, and I've had experiences with both.''

Arizona's young right-hander Ian Kennedy was far less nonchalant about his struggles after allowing five runs and eight hits in three innings.

''It doesn't matter if it's spring training or not, I'm frustrated with not doing well,'' he said. ''I hate not doing well.''

No matter that he knows he has a spot in the rotation guaranteed.

''The competitor in me just wants to do well,'' Kennedy said. ''I'm trying to work on things and it's frustrating when you try to go back to those things where you're normally sharp, like during the season, and it's not falling for you. My change up, I kept cutting it today. Usually that's my go-to pitch and I couldn't throw that for a strike. That's the frustrating part.''

Wily Mo Pena also homered for Arizona. Willie Bloomquist went 3 for 4 for the Diamondbacks to improve his spring average to .393.

Jeremy Reed went 3 for 3 with two RBIs for Milwaukee and is hitting .400 this spring.

Erick Almonte doubled and homered. With a .429 average, Almonte is making a case for a spot on the opening day roster.

''He's forcing us to put him on that squad,'' Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. ''If you look at his at bats, he's staying the opposite way. For a pinch hitter, if we're looking for a guy coming off the bench, that's the kind of hitter that you want, you want somebody that can work the whole field and he's showing that he can do it.''