PHOENIX — Carlos Gomez led off the game with a home run, had three RBIs and made a sparkling catch in center field for the Milwaukee Brewers in a 9-9 tie with the Oakland Athletics on Wednesday.
Ryan Braun had three hits including an RBI double, and Jonathan Lucroy and Aramis Ramirez added run-scoring hits as the Brewers rocked opening-day starter Sonny Gray for eight hits and six runs in 2 2-3 innings.
After an 0-for-12 start, Braun has seven hits in his last 13 at-bats (.538) to raise his spring average to .280.
Gomez has three home runs this spring and raised his average to .435 (10 for 23). Luis Jimenez added a three-run homer in the seventh for the Brewers, who had 17 hits. He also made a leaping grab to take away extra bases from Brett Lawrie.
“He's never seen me before and right now I feel really good at the plate.” Gomez said. “I'm a competitive guy. When I face an ace I get excited. That's how I test myself. Am I good today?”
Ike Davis had two hits and three RBI for Oakland including his first home run of the spring and is now hitting .520 (13-for-25).
“I feel really good at the plate right now and I'm trying to hit the ball solid,” Davis said. “I'm not going to hit .700 in the season, you can write that down. But if I can continue to do what I'm doing I hopefully can have better success than previous seasons.”
Athletics: Gray's spring ERA ballooned to 7.53 and he left after walking the bases full in the third.
“I got sped up and just couldn't slow down,” Gray said. “After some things didn't go our way, I started leaving the ball up and they put some good swings on it. It was downhill from there. Then I just couldn't throw a strike.”
Brewers: Jimmy Nelson's up-and-down spring continues. He allowed only one earned run in five innings and struck out four, but allowed six hits.
“I saw a lot of good fastballs and curveballs but the slider still wasn't there,” Milwaukee manager Ron Roenicke said. “The last one was a little better, but this was OK. When you are scrambling to get outs and you are still able to get through lineups, its good.”
HANK RETURNS TO MARYVALE
Hank the Dog, the stray who wandered into training camp last spring in Maryvale only to become a worldwide viral sensation and “pup-culture” icon, will return to where it all began Saturday to take part in an adopt-a-pet event and fundraiser for the Arizona Humane Society — posing for photos to help increase donations.
Hank now lives with Brewers vice president and general counsel Marti Wronski. The Brewers have sold almost $1 million worth of Hank-themed merchandise in the last year, with 20 percent benefitting the human society. Hank also won the Golden Hydrant award, emblematic of Dog of the Year, at the inaugural World Dog Awards last November.
Athletics: OF Josh Reddick (strained right oblique muscle) threw soft toss Wednesday and is hoping to take limited batting practice by the weekend. … LHP Sean Doolittle (shoulder) is also soft-tossing and looking to work to a throwing session. … OF Coco Crisp (right elbow soreness) had a cortisone injection Tuesday and will be down for another few days. … OF Alex Hassan (hamstring) hopes to play this weekend.
Brewers: Scary moment in the bottom of the second when 2B Luis Sardinas was hit in the face by the ball thrown by Davis as he slid into second base.
Sardinas' helmet flew off and he lay on the ground holding his face after the play, but he stayed in the game and scored during a four-run inning. He finished the game with three hits, was on base four times and scored three times.
Athletics: RHP Jesse Chavez and RHP Dan Otero will pitch against the San Francisco Giants Thursday at Scottsdale Stadium.
Brewers: RHP Mike Fiers (shoulder soreness) will make his first Cactus League start in over a week when the Brewers face the Seattle Mariners at Maryvale Baseball Park.