Centeno homers for short-handed Brewers

Braun scratched with flu-like symptoms; Lucroy still sidelined by hamstring injury

Centeno homers for short-handed Brewers

PEORIA, Ariz. -- Left-hander J.A. Happ threw three scoreless innings and second baseman Chris Taylor delivered a three-hit day as the Mariners topped the Brewers, 10-5, in Cactus League action Friday at Peoria Stadium.

The loss snapped a three-game winning streak for the Brewers, who didn't find their way onto the scoreboard until catcher Juan Centeno hit a solo home run in the sixth inning.

Taylor, competing for Seattle's starting shortstop job this spring with Brad Miller, tripled and singled twice as he hiked his Cactus League average to .421 (8-for-19). Taylor was filling in at second for Robinson Cano, who'll return to action Saturday after missing six games following the death of his grandfather.


Third time's the charm: The Mariners had three bases-loaded situations in the first three frames, with first baseman Logan Morrison grounding into a double play that forced in a run in the first and then striking out in the third. But catcher Mike Zunino finally came through after LoMo went down swinging, ripping a two-run single past diving shortstop Jean Segura to drive in two runs and give Seattle a 4-0 lead. When Dustin Ackley followed with an RBI single, the Mariners had a five-run lead after three.

"He's worked extremely hard on his two-strike approach," Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon said of Zunino, who hit .199 last year. "I think it's showing down here. He's put the ball in play several times. It was nice to see him come through."

That hurts: Segura had a few tough half-innings before calling it a day. In the bottom of the third, he absorbed a Nelson Cruz bouncer in a spot one doesn't like to get hit, and was charged with an error that contributed to a pair of unearned runs in a three-run Seattle rally. Segura was able to remain in the game to bat in the top of the fourth, when he snuck a single past a diving Taylor but was out trying to stretch the hit into a double.

Miller cuts down Segura

Was Segura OK?

"No," he said with a grimace.

Happ-y times: Happ pitched much better in his second outing in a Mariners uniform, breezing through three innings with just one infield hit. Acquired in a trade from the Blue Jays for outfielder Michael Saunders, Happ will fill a key role in the middle of Seattle's rotation. And after allowing two runs -- and a home run -- in his two-inning debut, this one was more to his liking.

"I feel good, feel strong," Happ said. "I just need to keep getting that pitch count up. I feel like we're on the right track."

Location is everything: Milwaukee's Logan Schafer made a last-minute switch from left field to right when Ryan Braun was scratched with flu-like symptoms, and Schafer found himself in the right place at the right time in the fourth inning. He caught an Austin Jackson fly ball and fired home to double up Taylor, who reached on a triple.

Schafer's outfield assist

New to the Crew: Right-hander Corey Knebel, one of three players acquired from Texas for Yovani Gallardo, made his unofficial Brewers debut with a scoreless eighth inning against the Mariners. His first pitch was a 95 mph fastball, and his next fastball touched 96. Knebel had been delayed by some discomfort in his right elbow, which also caused trouble at the end of last year.

"Good curveball, real explosive fastball, especially the first batter," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. "Then he got some down and they squared up a couple balls on him. But he's got a really nice arm. Any time you're with a new team and you want to show them something and all of a sudden you have a setback, getting back out there and showing what he can do is important."

Knebel strikes out Rivero


It's only Spring Training and the stats don't matter, but Happ was probably pleased to avoid a pair of Brewers regulars. Braun is 9-for-28 (.321) in regular-season at-bats against Happ with six extra-base hits and three home runs, but was a late scratch with flu-like symptoms. Catcher Jonathan Lucroy is 7-for-19 (.368) with four doubles, but is still coming back from a hamstring injury.

With Happ's three shutout innings, the Mariners starters now have a 2.08 ERA in 11 Cactus League games. Seattle's starters had the third-lowest ERA in the American League in the 2014 regular season at 3.48.


"I think I'm going to try to slide back over to shortstop." -- Taylor, when asked if he was pushing to take Cano's job while filling in at second base

"We played really good until today; I really liked the way things were going. But you're going to have one of those days. None of us really pitched very well today, and we've been throwing the ball so well. It's one of those days you have, and hopefully you come back tomorrow and forget it." -- Roenicke


The Brewers will have a full house at Maryvale Baseball Park on Saturday for their first 2015 meeting with the rival Cubs (3:05 p.m. CT, MLB.TV). Jimmy Nelson will start against Cubs right-hander Edwin Jackson, though Nelson won't bat. The Brewers will use the designated-hitter spot for either Adam Lind's second round of at-bats coming off a stiff back or Jonathan Lucroy's debut back from a right hamstring strain. The game will air live on the Brewers Radio Network and FS Wisconsin.

Young right-hander Taijuan Walker takes the hill for his third Cactus League start Saturday in the Mariners' 1:10 p.m. PT game against the D-backs at Salt River Fields. The 22-year-old has given up just two hits in five scoreless innings over two outings. Closer Fernando Rodney is also slated for an inning, as are Tom Wilhelmsen, Dominic Leone and Yoervis Medina. The game will be broadcast live on 710 ESPN Seattle and Gameday Audio.

Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB as well as his Mariners Musings blog. Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @AdamMcCalvy. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.