Brewers crush five homers to back solid Garza

Braun, Lucroy, Schafer, Clark and Herrera go deep to top White Sox

Brewers crush five homers to back solid Garza

PHOENIX -- Jonathan Lucroy and Ryan Braun hit back-to-back home runs in the fifth inning against White Sox ace Jeff Samardzija, who surrendered a trio of homers in Sunday's Cactus League start against the Brewers at Maryvale Baseball Park. The Brewers finished with a total of five homers in the 13-4 victory.

Logan Schafer also went deep against Samardzija in the fourth inning. After the White Sox scored in the top of the fifth for a 2-2 tie, Lucroy connected for a two-out, two-run home run in the bottom of the inning and Braun followed with a solo shot.

Braun has a hit in three straight games, including a home run in each of the last two, after beginning the spring in an 0-for-13 funk. He's coming off a procedure in October to address a right thumb injury.

"I've been watching his [batting practice] every day and his ball is looking like it was in 2012," Lucroy said. "It's just jumping. The ball is flying off his bat. That's good. That means he's got some strength in there."

Lucroy added another two-run hit amid a four-run Brewers rally in the sixth inning and finished with four RBIs. Adam Lind had three more hits to boost his Cactus League average to .444. Bench hopeful Matt Clark hit his third home run of the spring in the eighth inning. Elian Herrera capped the Brewers' scoring with a three-run shot in the eighth.

Samardzija pitched 4 1/3 innings and allowed five earned runs on eight hits, with no walks and two strikeouts. He's lined up to pitch Opening Day for the White Sox, though manager Robin Ventura has made no official announcement.

As Samardzija left the field between innings, he and Lucroy had a brief chat.

"I asked him, 'What are you doing throwing me a changeup? Are you working on that?'" Lucroy said. "He had never thrown me a changeup, ever. It was like, 'What was that?' It was right down the middle. Spring Training, he's just working on things."

"I said we have a new catcher in there so we are working on some new pitches," Samardzija said. "Johnny is a good dude and he's a heck of a player. I'm happy I don't have to face him 12 times a year."

The opposing starter was Samardzija's former Cubs teammate Matt Garza, who allowed two earned runs on four hits in 4 2/3 innings.

White Sox shortstop Alexei Ramirez drove in two runs for the visitors.

Up next for Brewers: Since Wily Peralta's regular season debut is against the Rockies in about two weeks, the Brewers will bump him to Minor League camp on Monday and start right-hander Tyler Thornburg against Colorado instead. Thornburg's role remains unclear; he's being stretched out this spring in the event he's needed as a starter, but could also wind up in a long relief role. The 3:05 p.m. CT game will air on the Brewers Radio Network, with Bob Uecker behind the mic. The game can be heard live on Gameday Audio.

Adam McCalvy is a reporter for 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.