Gonzalez serves up late lead in loss to Canada
Reliever gives up four runs in eighth inning; Narveson works 2 2/3 innings
PHOENIX -- Team Canada scored four times in the eighth inning against a wild Michael Gonzalez for a 7-4 exhibition win over the Brewers at Maryvale Baseball Park on Tuesday.
Gonzalez, one of the Brewers' key offseason acquisitions for the bullpen, allowed three hits, walked two batters and threw a run-scoring wild pitch, turning a one-run Brewers lead into a 7-4 deficit. The Brewers had just taken the lead on a long, seventh-inning home run by outfield prospect Khris Davis.
In two Cactus League innings, Gonzalez has surrendered six runs on six hits. Manager Ron Roenicke said he was resisting forming an opinion of the free agent acquisition.
"I want to see when he's in shape and he's really throwing well," Roenicke said. "He doesn't have his stuff right now and he doesn't have his command."
The teams traded leads all afternoon, beginning in the third inning when Justin Morneau worked a bases-loaded walk from Brewers starter Chris Narveson for a 1-0 lead.
The Brewers answered in the bottom of the inning with Rickie Weeks' RBI double and Carlos Gomez's go-ahead single against Team Canada starter Jameson Taillon, a top Pirates prospect. But Mariners outfielder Michael Saunders tied the game with a fourth-inning home run off Milwaukee's Wily Peralta, and Canada took a 3-2 lead in the fifth, when Peralta's throwing error on a pickoff and a subsequent wild pitch donated an earned run.
The Brewers tied the game again in the fifth inning on a Gomez groundout, and pushed back ahead when Davis hit his long solo homer off left-hander Andrew Albers. It cleared the outfield berm in left-center field.
Tuesday's exhibition made for some mixed allegiances. Four members of Team Canada are Brewers -- closer John Axford (who gave up two hits in the ninth), setup man Jim Henderson (scoreless eighth), infielder Taylor Green (0-for-1, walk) and Minor League outfielder Rene Tosoni. The Brewers' general manager, Doug Melvin, and assistant GM, Gord Ash, are both Canadian.
Brewers up next: Right-hander Mike Fiers will be back on the mound Wednesday when the Brewers travel to Peoria, Ariz., live on Gameday Audio at 2:05 p.m. CT., for their second meeting with the Mariners in eight days. Fiers has been sharp in his first two spring starts, allowing one earned run with five strikeouts in his first five innings. He will probably only have a couple of Brewers regulars behind him; with so many players departed for the World Baseball Classic, others fighting injuries and most simply building up to everyday duty, the next week will offer a test of the Brewers' depth.