Gennett hits for cycle in Brewers’ victory
Gennett, a minor leaguer who has never played above Class A, hit a two-run homer in the eighth inning Sunday to complete the cycle as a Brewers split-squad defeated the Kansas City Royals, 7-3. He will likely start this season with Double-A Huntsville in the Southern League.
Gennett, who has a .304 average with 18 home runs in his first two pro seasons, homered off the Brewers’ bullpen wall in right field.
“I’ve never hit for the cycle,” Gennett said. “This is the first time.”
He said he was not looking to go deep in his final at-bat.
“Because every time I try to hit a home run I end up rolling over or striking out,” Gennett said. “So I was just trying to put a good at-bat together and try to hit the ball hard.”
Gennett tripled in the first inning and doubled in the second off Felipe Paulino.
“It’s always good to get that triple out of the way, but I
didn’t have cycle on my mind, that’s for sure,” said Gennett, a 5-foot-10, 166-pound left-handed hitter.
After striking out in the fourth, he singled in the sixth off Jonathan Broxton before the home run. Gennett said it could have been a better day.
“I could have gone 5 for 5 with the cycle,” he said while signing autographs for a long line of fans, yelling “Scooter.”
Paulino, who is bidding for a spot in the Royals’ rotation, gave up five runs on six hits and three walks, committed a throwing error on a pickoff throw to second base and let in one run with a wild pitch. Paulino was pulled after 2 2-3 innings, his pitch count up to 78, his ERA inflating to 7.71.
“Just very inconsistent, a lot of pitches up in the zone, a lot of pitches out and over the middle of the plate, overthrowing his breaking ball,” manager Ned Yost said. “You know he’s struggling when he has 78 pitches after 2 2/3 innings. So it wasn’t a very good outing right there.”
Minor leaguer Terry Evans homered for the Royals.
Marcum sharp in delayed debut for Brewers
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, on Sunday in Phoenix.
“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.”
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.