Fiers strong; Gomez hits go-ahead 2B in finale

Fiers strong; Gomez hits go-ahead 2B in finale

HOUSTON -- For all the talk of fatigue by the end of Spring Training, the Astros and Brewers didn't seem to take their final regular-season tuneups lightly. Starters played deep into the game as the Astros used a three-run sixth -- capped by Carlos Gomez's go-ahead two-run double -- en route to a 4-2 win on Friday afternoon in Minute Maid Park.

Milwaukee took an early lead thanks to a pair of solo home runs from Domingo Santana and Ryan Braun, the second in as many exhibition games for Braun. Starting pitcher Matt Garza, meanwhile, exited the game in the fourth inning after 3 1/3 innings of one-run ball with right shoulder soreness, but the injury isn't expected to keep him from making his first regular-season start.

"I thought he pitched really well before [the injury]," Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. "He had good stuff and just saw some reason for concern so we got him out of there. He still got enough out of it, a little over 50 pitches is fine."

"We're not sitting here saying, 'Oh, my god,' or anything like that," Garza added. "We'll keep an eye on it."

Garza's counterpart, Houston's Mike Fiers, settled down after the early long balls and reached his desired pitch count in 5 1/3 innings of effective work. The righty struck out seven in just 57 pitches in his final tuneup before next Thursday's start against the Yankees in New York.

"It was nice to see him get into the sixth inning," Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. "He's ready to go for the season."

Luke Gregerson worked an inning of scoreless relief, striking out a pair in his second outing in 24 hours. Astros manager A.J. Hinch has still not announced his plans for the closer role, and Gregerson is still working all the way back from an intercostal strain earlier this spring.

The Brewers worked in five relievers, including Tyler Cravy in perhaps his final audition to earn the last bullpen spot on the 25-man roster before Opening Day.

Up next for the Brewers: The Brewers wrap up the spring on Saturday vs. Double-A Biloxi. Chase Anderson will get the start in Biloxi, Miss., with first pitch set for 1:10 p.m. CT. Fans can listen to an exclusive webcast of the game on

Chris Abshire is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.