Brinson pops 2 HRs in first game with Crew

Top prospect sparks offense in exhibition matchup with UW-Milwaukee

Brinson pops 2 HRs in first game with Crew

PHOENIX -- Lewis Brinson's first game in a Brewers uniform was a blast.

Milwaukee's top prospect homered twice and drove in four runs in the Brewers' 11-0 exhibition win over the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Panthers on Friday at Maryvale Baseball Park. Scooter Gennett followed Brinson's second home run of the day with a solo shot, and Jesus Aguilar added a three-run homer for the Brewers in an eight-run fourth inning to put the game away.

"To get two out, you know the swing is looking good so far," said Brinson, acquired from Texas on Aug. 1 as part of the Jonathan Lucroy trade.

After flying out to lead off the first inning, Brinson homered in his next two at-bats before Brett Phillips took over in center field.

Brinson is expected to begin the season in the Minor Leagues after topping out at Triple-A Colorado Springs after the trade. He will get a look at all three outfield positions during Spring Training, including center field, saying that he has enjoyed getting to know left fielder Ryan Braun this month because, "I'm going to be playing next to him, hopefully, in the near future."

"He's got a good approach," Gennett said of Brinson. "He doesn't try to do too much. He's naturally gifted, he's blessed, so those guys don't have to do too much. They don't have to create or try to hit the ball out of the ballpark, it comes natural when they square it up. That was an example of it today."

Brinson's third-inning home run provided the game's first run. In the fourth, Brinson's three-run homer made it 4-0.

"He had a great game. It's his first at-bats of the season, and the timing -- he made it look pretty easy," said Brewers manager Craig Counsell.

Brinson could surprise in 2017

Brinson was among a handful of prospects who got a chance to impress in the Brewers' first game of the year. Another, infielder Mauricio Dubon, made a diving defensive play in the ninth inning while manning second base.

"There's lots of guys we're looking forward to watching this spring," Counsell said. "That's what makes it fun, the guys keep coming from over there [in Minor League camp] and you can get excited about them."

Brewers pitchers limited the Panthers to a pair of singles in the third annual meeting between Wisconsin's top two teams. The Panthers are the state's only Division I baseball program.

"It's certainly a day we circle on the calendar as soon as we see it on there," UWM coach Scott Doffek said. "Most of our kids are Wisconsin kids so they all grew up watching these guys, so getting an opportunity to compete against them was great. Unfortunately, we did not play very well. Whether we're playing big league guys or not, that wasn't a very good brand of baseball from our side of things."

Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. 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.