Gallardo throws 5 hitless innings for Brewers

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TUCSON, Ariz. (AP)—The loss of CC Sabathia and Ben Sheets to free agency might be a little less painful for Milwaukee with the way Yovani Gallardo is pitching this spring.

The 23-year-old right-hander held Arizona hitless through five innings Wednesday in the Brewers’ 4-1 victory over the Diamondbacks.

Arizona managed just one hit the entire game.

Gallardo, who missed virtually all of last season with knee injuries, faced only 16 batters, one more than the minimum. He struck out three and walked three. Two of the base runners were erased, one on a rundown and the other on a double play.

“It felt great. I think all my pitches were working for me,” Gallardo said. “I was able to mix and match every pitch and get ahead of the hitters.”

Arizona’s Doug Davis cruised in his return to the mound after missing a start with tightness in his biceps. He held the Brewers without a hit in 2 1-3 scoreless innings. The left-hander struck out two, walked one and hit a batter.

“I felt really good out there, sometimes too good, overthrowing a little bit,” Davis said.

Gallardo has held opponents without a run in four of his five starts this spring. His second shutout performance gives him a string of nine consecutive scoreless innings.

“It’s a good feeling. I was able to repeat what I did in my last start,” he said. “It just feels good to come out and do that again, especially after the one I had in Kansas City.”

Gallardo was referring to his lone bad outing of the spring, two starts ago, when he gave up seven runs, five earned, in just two-thirds of an inning.

He’s held opponents scoreless in his other four spring starts. Gallardo struck out five and gave up two hits in four scoreless innings against the Royals last Friday.

Davis said he did not completely test his biceps muscle because “I wasn’t real confident in snapping off the curveball as of right now.” He said he’s sure that his confidence in the arm will improve in the coming starts.

“All in all it was a great day,” Davis said.

Not for Arizona batters, it wasn’t. The Diamondbacks’ lone hit was Augie Ojeda’s RBI single in the sixth inning.

Milwaukee broke through against Arizona closer Chad Qualls in the fourth. Brad Nelson doubled with one out, went to third on Mike Lamb’s groundout and scored when Alcides Escobar singled.

Notes

Arizona manager Bob Melvin said OF Eric Byrnes will make his spring debut Friday in center field against the Los Angeles Angels in Tempe. Byrnes, recovering from hamstring injuries, played LF and went 1-for-4 with a homer in a minor league game on Tuesday. … The Brewers outhit the Diamondbacks 11-1. … Brewers 2B Casey McGehee robbed Conor Jackson of a hit up the middle in the second. … The Diamondbacks have Thursday off.

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