Homers sting Samardzija in loss against Brewers

Ramirez leads White Sox offense with pair of hits, RBIs

Homers sting Samardzija in loss against Brewers

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 the White Sox: Jose Quintana looked regular-season ready during his last trip to the mound, and the southpaw will take another tune-up step in that direction during Monday's 3:05 p.m. CT first pitch against the Padres in Peoria. The game is being broadcast on Comcast SportsNet and can be seen on MLB.TV. Closer David Robertson, Frank Montas, Jake Petricka and Daniel Webb also are scheduled to pitch.

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.