Solid Nelson, trio of RBI 1Bs take care of LA

Solid Nelson, trio of RBI 1Bs take care of LA

PHOENIX -- Jimmy Nelson pitched six solid innings and Ryan Braun, Colin Walsh and Domingo Santana each drove in a run, and the Brewers beat a Dodgers split squad, 3-1, at Maryvale Baseball Park on Sunday.

Dodgers shortstop Charlie Culberson hit a solo homer in the fifth inning, but Nelson otherwise silenced the visitors' bats, allowing that lone run on four hits in the longest outing by a Brewers starter this spring. He struck out a batter and walked none.

Nelson worked with an early lead thanks to Braun's run-scoring single off Dodgers starter Scott Kazmir in the first inning. Nelson's sacrifice bunt set up Walsh's RBI single in the second inning, and Santana hit an RBI single in the fifth. Santana, who returned to action after missing five days with a stiff neck, has a six-game Cactus League hitting streak and has reached safely in 12 of his last 17 plate appearances.

Kazmir was charged with two runs (one earned) on four hits in four innings, with one walk and four strikeouts. It marked an improvement for the left-hander, who had allowed seven runs in 3 2/3 innings in his first two Cactus League starts before pitching in a 'B' game last week.

"I got a lot of work out of the stretch," Kazmir said with a laugh, "so I'll take that as a good thing, getting ready for guys in scoring position during the season."

Kazmir's final two innings, however, were scoreless.

"As the game went on, I smoothed things out and things got a lot more crisp," he said. "All those reps have been helping out. Getting a little bit crisper, better delivery, extending myself a little bit more. Getting those reps in, that's the biggest thing for me."

The game was delayed in the eighth inning after Brewers center fielder Rymer Liriano was struck in the face by a pitch from Dodgers right-hander Matt West. Liriano was secured to a back board and taken from the field on a cart.

Up next for Dodgers: In a matchup highly anticipated throughout Japan, new Dodgers starter Kenta Maeda will oppose Seattle's Hisashi Iwakuma on Monday. A slight disappointment for Maeda, who was looking forward to batting against his countryman, is that the Dodgers decided to use the designated hitter in the game.

Up next for Brewers: It will be a busy Monday for manager Craig Counsell, who will skipper a pair of games on the team's final split-squad day of the spring. At 3 p.m. CT, starter Matt Garza and Braun will host the Angels at Maryvale Baseball Park. Counsell will then bus across town to Scottsdale for an 8:40 p.m. game against the D-backs. Left-handed prospect Josh Hader will return from Minor League camp to start the nightcap.

Adam McCalvy is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy, like him on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.