Braun's slump continues in loss to Angels
Brewers star goes 0-for-2 in first road game this spring
TEMPE, Ariz. -- Ryan Braun went 0-for-2 with a walk, although he did make a terrific catch, as the Brewers fell to the Angels, 8-1, on Saturday afternoon at Tempe Diablo Stadium.
Braun, who successfully appealed his suspected violation of MLB's Drug Treatment and Prevention Program last month, made his first road trip of the spring for Milwaukee and was greeted in each of his at-bats with a smattering of boos from the St. Patrick's Day crowd. The 2011 National League MVP is now 1-for-15 (.067) with five strikeouts this spring.
"There's never a quantity of at-bats in Spring Training that would concern me, ever," Braun said. "Spring Training has never been result-oriented. It's always process-oriented. The process is certainly a little different this year. It's an adjustment I'll have to make."
Jered Weaver pitched four solid innings and Vernon Wells had two hits, including a two-run double for the Angels.
It was the Brewers' third straight loss, and the Halos' third consecutive win at home.
The Brewers got on the board first as Jonathan Lucroy drove in Mat Gamel, who had doubled, with a two-out RBI single off Weaver in the top of the second. But Bobby Abreu and Torii Hunter each reached to start the bottom half of the frame before Wells drove them both in with a double and came around to score himself on Mark Trumbo's sacrifice fly, giving the Angels a 3-1 lead. Trumbo made it 4-1 with his second sacrifice fly in the seventh.
Weaver struck out four and scattered two hits to go with his one run allowed. His counterpart, Milwaukee right-hander Mike Fiers, allowed three earned runs on three hits in three innings while striking out two.
Wells finished the day 2-for-2 with a run to go with his two RBIs. Each team's closer -- Milwaukee's John Axford and Los Angeles' Jordan Walden -- tossed a shutout inning.
The Angels tacked on four runs in the eighth inning, all off Santo Manzanillo, getting RBIs from Carlos Ramirez, Alexi Amarista and Kole Calhoun.
Up next for the Brewers: Rain forecast for the Phoenix area could impact a pair of Brewers starters Sunday. Zack Greinke is scheduled to pitch the first of the Brewers' back-to-back games against the Texas Rangers, live on Gameday Audio at 3:05 p.m. CT, and would have to move his outing to the covered mounds at Maryvale Baseball Park because Greinke doesn't have an extra day built into his path to his regular-season debut. Another starter, Shaun Marcum, is scheduled to throw live batting practice, the next test for a right shoulder that has been balky this spring. If Mother Nature plays ball, then Greinke will start against the Rangers' Robbie Ross at Maryvale.