Wells' bat backs solid Weaver in Angels' win
Outfielder swats two-run double; starter fans four in four innings
TEMPE, Ariz. -- Jered Weaver pitched four solid innings and Vernon Wells had two hits against the defending National League Central champions as the Angels beat the Brewers, 8-1, on Saturday afternoon at Tempe Diablo Stadium.
It was the Brewers' third straight loss, and the Halos' third consecutive win at home.
Ryan Braun, who successfully appealed his suspected violation of MLB's Drug Treatment and Prevention Program last month, made his first road trip for Milwaukee on Saturday and was greeted in each of his at-bats (he went 0-for-2 with a walk) with a smattering of boos from the St. Patrick's Day crowd. The 2011 National League MVP is now 1-for-15 (.067) with five strikeouts this spring.
The Brewers got on the board first as Jonathan Lucroy drove in Mat Gamel, who had doubled, with a two-out RBI single off Weaver in the top of the second. But Bobby Abreu and Torii Hunter each reached to start the bottom half of the frame before Wells drove them both in with a double and came around to score himself on Mark Trumbo's sacrifice fly, giving the Angels a 3-1 lead. Trumbo made it 4-1 with his second sacrifice fly in the seventh.
Weaver struck out four and scattered two hits to go with his one run allowed. His counterpart, Milwaukee right-hander Mike Fiers, allowed three earned runs on three hits in three innings while striking out two.
"First couple innings were all right, obviously some foul balls, but those last two innings, I felt really locked in," said Weaver. "I was moving the ball in and out, and the offspeed stuff was a lot better. There's just some fine-tuning to go work on with the offspeed stuff. But overall, it felt good."
Wells finished the day 2-for-2 with a run to go with his two RBIs. Each team's closer -- Milwaukee's John Axford and Los Angeles' Jordan Walden -- tossed a shutout inning.
The Angels tacked on four runs in the eighth inning, all off Santo Manzanillo, getting RBIs from Carlos Ramirez, Alexi Amarista and Kole Calhoun.
Up next for the Angels: The Halos hit the road on Sunday for the first of three consecutive road games, starting with a meeting with the Dodgers in Glendale, live on MLB.TV at 1:05 PT. Right-hander Dan Haren, who has won both his previous Cactus League starts with five combined shutout innings, will start for the Angels against Dodgers southpaw Chris Capuano. The Dodgers won the first meeting between the two Southern California rivals, 9-1, on March 12 in Tempe.