Gonzalez continues torrid spring at plate

Gonzalez continues torrid spring at plate

Gonzalez continues torrid spring at plate
PHOENIX -- Brewers newcomers Alex Gonzalez and Aramis Ramirez homered, but the White Sox fought back for a 6-4 win at Maryvale Baseball Park on Saturday.

Chicago scored three runs in the fifth inning and two more in the decisive seventh to erase an early 4-0 deficit. Tyler Saladino tied the game in the seventh inning with an RBI triple, then scored the go-ahead run on Jim Gallagher's sacrifice fly.

White Sox catcher Tyler Flowers led the way with two hits, including a solo home run. He has three homers this spring.

The Brewers' offense came from some new faces. Shortstop Gonzalez homered off Chicago starter Chris Sale in the second inning, third baseman Ramirez went deep in the fourth and outfielder Norichika Aoki and infielder Cesar Izturis added an RBI apiece as Milwaukee built a 4-0 lead.

Both Gonzalez and Ramirez have been hot. Gonzalez finished 2-for-2 with two runs scored, and leads the Brewers with 23 total bases this spring. Ramirez, who collected his first RBI on Friday, has eight hits in his last 17 Cactus League at-bats after starting 0-for-12.

Aoki had two more hits Saturday and is eight for his last 14.

"I felt strong throughout the entire time," said Sale, who allowed four runs, three earned, in 4 2/3 innings. "I felt like I had pretty [good] command of all of my pitches. I felt like I made some good pitches. I felt a little unlucky in some cases."

Brewers starter Randy Wolf held Chicago scoreless on one hit through the first four innings before faltering in the fifth, when Wolf allowed three runs on four hits, a hit batsman and an errant pickoff throw that allowed a run. Flowers led off with a home run to spark the rally.

Wolf was charged with three runs, two earned, on six hits in 5 2/3 innings. He was followed by right-hander Jose Veras, who finished the sixth inning before allowing two runs in the seventh and absorbing the loss.

"I feel good, like I'm throwing a lot of innings so far in spring," Wolf said. "That's the main thing. I know my springs, historically, have been pretty poor, and my command hasn't always been there. This Spring Training, it's been a lot better, which allows me to go deeper into games."

The Brewers have not won since Monday. They have three losses and a tie since then.

Up next: Shaun Marcum will make his Cactus League season debut on Sunday at 3:05 p.m. CT, when the Brewers play split-squad games at home against the Dodgers and at Surprise, Ariz. against Ned Yost's Royals. Marcum will start the home game, and is scheduled for 40-45 pitches. Right-hander Marco Estrada will start in Surprise.

Marcum was dogged by right shoulder stiffness earlier in camp, but got through a two-inning Minor League outing on Monday with no issues and declared he'll be ready to be in the Opening Day starting rotation. After Sunday, the Brewers must make a call. If they move Marcum back to Minor League games, they could backdate a stint on the 15-day disabled list to March 26, if necessary. In that scenario, the team could carry an extra reliever at the start of the regular season and activate Marcum on April 10 to pitch the team's fifth game.

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.