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Gomez fuels offense as Brewers drop Royals

Gomez fuels offense as Brewers drop Royals

Gomez fuels offense as Brewers drop Royals
PHOENIX -- Carlos Gomez hit a go-ahead, two-run home run in a four-run second inning, and the Brewers beat the Royals, 7-5, on Sunday in a game that featured five of the six players involved in December's trade for Zack Greinke.

Only Greinke, sidelined with a cracked rib, didn't play in the first of two spring meetings between the teams. Center fielder Lorenzo Cain and shortstop Alcides Escobar started for the Royals and reliever Jeremy Jeffress pitched in relief. Yuniesky Betancourt started at shortstop for the Brewers before leaving with a tight quadriceps.

Cain and Escobar each went 1-for-3, and Escobar hit an inside-the-park home run, but the Brewers took control of the game with five runs over the first two innings against Kansas City starter Kyle Davies, who surrendered eight hits. Milwaukee's Casey McGehee, Jeremy Reed and Wil Nieves drove in a run apiece before Gomez connected for a two-run homer in the second inning that snapped a 3-3 tie.

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Gomez scored two runs and finished 2-for-3, including his second home run this spring. McGehee's RBI was his ninth.

Escobar's inside-the-park homer came in the top of the second when the Brewers' left fielder, Caleb Gindl, was injured chasing the baseball.

Reliever Takashi Saito started for the Brewers in his first outing since an earthquake and tsunami devastated his hometown of Sendai, Japan. He allowed two runs on four hits in his only inning of work, but took a symbolic step back toward normalcy after three tense days of gathering information about family and friends.

Players and fans observed a moment of silence before the game to honor those lost in the disaster, including one of Saito's high school teammates who remains missing.

"Mentally, I was in a better place," Saito said. "All of my teammates and Brewers' staff have been very supportive of me, which made it a lot easier. From now on, I want to get into my regular routine of not pitching the first inning and going home early."

Aaron Crow and Robinson Tejada were both very sharp for the Royals, delivering an inning apiece of perfect relief.

Jeffress allowed one hit, two walks, two runs and threw two wild pitches in a trying third inning against his former franchise. He was Milwaukee's first-round Draft pick in 2006.

"It's just a game, man, you've got to go in and do your job on the field," Jeffress said. "It was just one of those days I couldn't find the strike zone a little bit."

He took some good-natured ribbing from former teammates.

"Some of the guys over there were trying to say stuff a little bit, but it's all love," Jeffress said. "It's so good to see the guys and see everybody's faces."

Up next for Royals:The Royals have their first and only day off of Spring Training on Monday. They resume Cactus League play at 3:05 p.m. CT on Tuesday against the Oakland A's at Surprise Stadium. Rule 5 Draft pick Nate Adcock will get his first start after pitching five scoreless innings in relief. He's trying to justify his spot on the 25-man roster after being plucked from the Pirates. Also scheduled to pitch are Danny Duffy, Tim Collins, Aaron Crow, Blaine Hardy and Kanekoa Texeira. Brandon McCarthy is the A's probable starter.

Up next for Brewers: After four consecutive home games, the Brewers hit the road Monday for their third spring meeting with the Giants, this time in Scottsdale, Ariz. The club should have Ryan Braun back in left field after he exited early on Saturday to protect a sore left ribcage. Braun tweaked one of the small intercostals between his ribs when he collided with the outfield wall during batting practice on Saturday morning, but insisted that the injury was very minor. Randy Wolf will start against San Francisco's Matt Cain.

Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brew Beat, and follow him on Twitter at @AdamMcCalvy. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

{"content":["spring_training" ] }
{"content":["spring_training" ] }