Aoki breaks out of slump, leads Brewers to exhibition winWisconsin Sports
-- Norichika Aoki got the best of fellow Japanese newcomer Yu Darvish yesterday, as the Milwaukee Brewers beat Texas 5-3 in an exhibition game.
PHOENIX - Norichika Aoki got the best of fellow Japanese newcomer Yu Darvish yesterday, as the Milwaukee Brewers beat Texas 5-3 in an exhibition game.
Aoki ended a 4-for-28 slump with three hits, including a triple. He also drove in three runs. Aoki hit an RBI-single off Darvish in the second inning. And after the Rangers went to their bullpen, Aoki tied the game with a two-run triple in the sixth – and he scored on a squeeze bunt from Cesar Izturis.
Brewers’ manager Ron Roenicke said it was exactly what his new Japanese player needed. He said Aoki has been pressing too hard, and the two talked about it last week. Darvish went four innings in his third spring start, giving up a run on one hit with three walks, four strikeouts, and a hit batsman.
Elvis Andrus had three hits for Texas, and Kentrail Davis homered for Milwaukee. Brewers’ starter Randy Wolf gave up three runs on 10 hits in five innings, and struck out four. The Brewers are now 7-9-1 in Cactus League play. They’ll face the Los Angeles Dodgers this afternoon.
Brewers’ right fielder Corey Hart took batting practice yesterday and did some throwing, 13 days after he had surgery to fix a torn meniscus in his right knee. Manager Ron Roenicke called it a “big step,” and he said he’s surprised at how fast Hart is coming along. Hart said he’ll be ready to play by Friday, a day before he turns 30 – but Roenicke says that’s not certain yet. Hart says he’ll play at the Brewers’ minor league camp where he can get some extra at-bats, and he still expects to be ready by Opening Day on April sixth. Roenicke says it will depend on how Hart can handle his increased workload during the next several days. If he’s not sore each morning, the skipper says Hart will most likely continue to at least take batting practice each day – and then, it shouldn’t take long for him to return. Also yesterday, right-hander Tyler Thornburg was re-assigned to the Brewers’ minor league camp. That leaves 39 players in the team’s big league camp.