Peralta rebounds with 6 strong frames vs. KC

Peralta rebounds with 6 strong frames vs. KC

PHOENIX -- Was this more like it for the Brewers' Opening Day starter?

"Si," said Wily Peralta, answering in Spanish, after Thursday's 9-2 win over the Royals at Maryvale Baseball Park.

Yes indeed, considering Peralta entered Thursday's outing against most of the World Series champion Royals' regulars with an 11.70 ERA in his first four Cactus League starts, having surrendered 23 hits including a trio of home runs, in 10 innings. Peralta, who was making his first start since manager Craig Counsell tabbed the 26-year-old for Opening Day, surrendered a solo home run to Eric Hosmer, but otherwise carved through six innings.

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Peralta allowed that lone run on four hits, with no walks and three strikeouts.

"I knew this one I had to go and really pitch," Peralta said. "I wasn't trying to work on anything, wasn't messing around much. I think this is one I really had to step up and perform. I was able to do that today, really go out and execute pitches."

Peralta induced 11 ground-ball outs in his next-to-last start before an Opening Day assignment on April 4 against the Giants at Miller Park.

Peralta discusses his outing

"That's the big thing. That's the game that Wily pitches," Counsell said. "We've seen him pitch that way, and when he's right, he pitches games like that."

Peralta, who surrendered 10 runs (seven earned) on 11 hits in 2 2/3 innings against the Angels in his previous start, said he needed the good outing "for myself."

"Last time out was really, really bad," he said. "It gives you a little confidence going into the season when you know you finish strong in Spring Training.

"Today, I wasn't working on anything. I went out and tried to execute and tried to get people out."

Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. 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.