SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) - Back with his Milwaukee teammates sooner than he had hoped, Yovani Gallardo looked like an ace in his first outing for the Brewers since pitching for Mexico at the World Baseball Classic.
Gallardo shook off a leadoff home run by Arizona's Gerardo Parra in the bottom of the first inning and retired the next 12 batters he faced, striking out five in four innings of Milwaukee's 7-0 loss to the Diamondbacks on Wednesday night.
``It's always a good feeling just to be back with the guys,' Gallardo said. ``We're with these guys six or eight months out of the year, and we're just getting back into things, preparing for the season and getting into that routine.'
Now the Brewers have to get their opening day starter back into a schedule so he can be ready for next month. Gallardo isn't worried about it, nor was he too concerned about the home run Parra hit on a 3-2 pitch.
``He's a good hitter for sure,' Gallardo said. ``He worked the count and fouled off that 3-2 slider that I threw him and tried to go down and away, and as good hitters do, they take advantage of that fastball that was up. Left it up and the zone and he put a good swing on it.'
Gallardo shook it off right way and retired the side.
``If you let a home run ruin your day, especially the first hitter, it's going to be a long day,' he said before adding he is not having any issues with a slight groin strain from earlier this month.
Parra, who added a two-run double in Arizona's four-run sixth inning, was playing in his first game along with teammates Martin Prado and Miguel Montero since the three rejoined the team Tuesday after Venezuela was eliminated from the WBC.
``I know Parra didn't have a hit in the WBC. Miggy (Montero) was yelling at him after he hit the home run, `About time! What were you doing in the WBC!'' Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson said. ``But it's good to have those guys back. They're three very important guys.'
Arizona starter Randall Delgado had his best outing of spring training so far, going four innings and allowing just three hits with four strikeouts. He's trying to get in the mix for a spot in the starting rotation.
``He had good velocity. All his pitches were working,' Gibson said. ``Kind of the guy we were hoping we'd get.'
The 23-year-old right-hander was acquired as part of the trade that sent Justin Upton to Atlanta in the offseason.
Diamondbacks closer J.J. Putz threw a scoreless fifth inning and struck out two. Brewers closer John Axford, back from his time with Canada at the WBC, also pitched a scoreless inning with a strikeout.
NOTES: Following an off day for the team on Thursday, LHP Chris Narveson is expected to start for Milwaukee against Cleveland on Friday. RHP Mike Fiers gets the call on Saturday against Cincinnati. ... The Diamondbacks also get a day off on Thursday, then send RHP Brandon McCarthy to the mound against the Oakland Athletics on Friday. ... Gibson said starting pitcher Wade Miley threw on the side on Wednesday, and is on schedule to pitch again on Monday. He could appear in a minor-league game on that day after being scratched from his last start due to a tired arm.
The Associated Press News Service
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved