Brewers' Fiers bounces back for Surprise
Rafters right-hander throws four hitless innings in AFL win
Michael Fiers held the Desert Dogs hitless for four innings thanks to a new pitch and a relaxed approach in Surprise's 3-2 Arizona Fall League win Monday.
Fiers, who pitched at two levels this summer for the Brewers and added a cut fastball this fall, struck out four and allowed one run on a walk over four frames.
"I'm just working on throwing strikes and working on a cutter. I kinda started throwing better and keeping the ball down," he said. "I was attacking them and throwing strikes."
Fiers, who saw time at Class A Advanced Brevard County and Double-A Huntsville in 2010, struggled in his first two outings this fall, allowing seven runs over 4 1/3 frames. On Monday, he found a comfort zone on the hill.
"My first couple starts I couldn't get into a groove. I was on a pitch count and trying to make too many things happen at once," said Fiers, who threw 34 of his 55 pitches for strikes Monday. "I guess I settled down and just took it one pitch at a time."
Fiers, Milwaukee's 22nd-round pick in 2009, made 27 starts this summer in the Minors, finishing a combined 5-9 with a 3.53 ERA. He struck out 130 and walked only 32 over 125 innings.
"I'm always trying to throw strikes," he said. "Get them to swing early and get a ground ball."
Fiers cruised through two innings before walking A's slugger Michael Taylor to begin the third. He struck out Cory Harrilchak (Braves), but Ryan Curry (Marlins) reached second on a fielding error by left fielder Derrick Robinson (Royals). That allowed Taylor to advance to third and Ivan De Jesus Jr. (Dodgers) followed with groundout to first to plate Taylor.
"I felt great. I felt like I was attacking them, kept the hitters off balance," said Fiers, who used a fastball, change and curveball along with his cutter.
Fiers, who grew up in Florida and pitched there for half the year, said he's enjoying his chance to pitch in Arizona.
"It's a great feeling to play with pretty much the best guys in the Minors and a couple guys who've played in the big leagues," he said.
NOTES: Adron Chambers (Cardinals), Robinson and Davis Stoneburner (Rangers) had RBIs for Surprise. ... Jerry Sands (White Sox), batting .325, went 1-for-4 and drove in the other run for Phoenix. ... Brewers 2B Eric Farris doesn't play every day, but he's gotten a hit in all 10 starts for Surprise. He's batting .413. ...Harrilchak and Peoria Javelinas LHP Marc Rzepczynski (Blue Jays) were named the AFL's players of the week earlier in the day.
Danny Wild is an editor for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.