Davies cruises in strong start vs. Giants

Davies cruises in strong start vs. Giants

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Milwaukee right-hander Zach Davies maintained a perfect game through four innings Sunday as the Brewers downed the San Francisco Giants, 6-4, in a Cactus League exhibition.

Davies, Milwaukee's projected No. 2 starter who entered the game with a 7.27 ERA, lost his perfecto when Brandon Belt singled to open the fifth inning. Eduardo Nunez added an infield single, but Davis escaped the inning unscathed. He ultimately lasted 5 1/3 innings, walking none and striking out six.

Davies reflects on spring

"Zach was really sharp today, he was efficient, just a productive day for him," Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. "Pitching into the sixth inning, really good tuneup. We feel like no matter what happens from here out, he's ready to go."

By contrast, Giants starter Jeff Samardzija lasted four batters into the fifth inning and yielded six runs and nine hits, including five for extra bases. Samardzija's most significant tormentors were Scooter Gennett, who opened the game with his first of two doubles, and Hernan Perez and Kirk Nieuwenhuis, who homered back-to-back in the fourth inning.

• Perez racks up 3 RBIs in return from Classic

Nieuwenhuis' solo home run

Milwaukee's three-run outburst in the fifth inning finished Samardzija, who has allowed a team-high five home runs this spring.

"Those last [few] hitters really taint your day a little bit and leave a bad taste in your mouth," said Samardzija, whose ERA climbed to 11.12.

Gordon Beckham's RBI single got the Giants on the board in the seventh, and Giants No. 2 prospect Christian Arroyo hit a two-run homer in the ninth.

Arroyo's two-run homer

• Giants send down promising Arroyo, Beede

Davies said he was aware he was perfect through four innings, though he didn't alter his approach because of it.

"It's not something that's not on your mind," said Davies, who also legged out an infield hit in the first game Milwaukee allowed its pitchers to bat. "I was paying attention to how the game went. You get in the zone and you don't really worry about that kind of stuff."

Davies, who will make two more starts in Spring Training, said he's ready for the regular season to begin and he can't wait to make his first Opening Day roster.

"It's been an awesome experience this spring," Davies said. "It's nice to know that I'm going to be there for Opening Day and it's kind of an accomplishment on my end that I can finally check off. It was something that I was looking forward to."

Davies reflects on spring

Brewers Up Next: The Brewers have a scheduled off-day Tuesday and then return to action Wednesday, when they travel to Camelback Ranch to play the Dodgers. Matt Garza will start for Milwaukee, with Keon Broxton (wrist) and Domingo Santana (hip) expected to return to the lineup. First pitch is scheduled for 3:05 p.m. CT.

Giants Up Next: Johnny Cueto will make his second Cactus League start and his third Spring outing overall Monday when he confronts the Chicago White Sox on Monday in a 1:05 p.m. PT encounter. Cueto's most recent outing was in a Minor League exhibition last Wednesday.

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Chris Haft has covered the Giants since 2005, and for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.