Henderson sharp in return, Brewers beat Wisconsin-Milwaukee
MARYVALE, Ariz. (AP) Former closer Jim Henderson threw a scoreless inning in his first outing since May, and the Milwaukee Brewers beat the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee 8-0 on Wednesday.
Pitching in a game for the first time since ending last season with a shoulder injury May 2, Henderson walked one and struck out two in the second inning. He saved 28 games for Milwaukee in 2013 but went 2-1 with a 7.15 ERA in 14 games last year. Henderson had arthroscopic surgery in August.
''It felt good,'' Henderson said. ''It felt great to have that umpire back there and a hitter in there. I think I threw two balls in a row and had to remind myself to just treat it like a live batting practice type of thing and just focus on the glove. That was all I was concerned about.''
Brewers manager Ron Roenicke was happy to see Henderson use all his pitches.
''He threw some sliders down, which I liked. And the ball looked like it came out free,'' Roenicke said.
Khris Davis and Juan Centeno each had a two-run single for the Brewers, who didn't get their first hit until Davis' single with two outs in the fourth.
That was the only hit for Milwaukee's regulars. The bench players had nine hits in the final four innings, scoring six times.
''As soon as we got the regulars out we were OK,'' Roenicke said. ''That's the way it usually goes.''
Elian Hererra had a pair of RBI singles.
Seven Brewers pitchers combined to strike out 17. They held Wisconsin-Milwaukee to one hit, a single by senior right fielder Derek Peake in the fourth.
''We threw some good arms today. We wanted to get everyone in there for an inning,'' Roenicke said. ''Some of them had their command a little off, but we're just getting going. We got a lot of good work out of today.''
Brewers: Mike Fiers was the first Brewers pitcher to take the mound and he retired all six batters he faced, striking out four. He got a little help in the first when second baseman Scooter Gennett made a sliding stop to throw out Mitch Ghelfi.
''I felt like all my pitches were working,'' Fiers said. ''I made some good pitches and had some great defense behind me.''
Brewers pitcher Jimmy Nelson, bothered by a tight hamstring, will likely push back his first appearance a few days.
Milwaukee slugger Ryan Braun is set to make his spring debut Thursday against the Angels in Tempe. Braun, coming back from right thumb damage that has hampered him for two years, hopes a cryotherapy procedure performed in the offseason will continue to provide him with relief and a free swing.
Expected opening-day starter Kyle Lohse gets the ball when Milwaukee begins its Cactus League schedule Thursday. Brandon Kintzler, plagued by leg injuries the last two seasons but feeling good this spring, also is expected to pitch.
AN INNING TO REMEMBER
Wisconsin-Milwaukee pitcher Joe Pavlovich compiled a 9.72 ERA through his first two starts of the season. But all that was forgotten Wednesday when he had a second inning to remember.
With his father Mike and eight family members in the stands, the native of Denmark, Wisconsin, and a transfer from UW-Oshkosh struck out the only three hitters he faced, getting Adam Lind, Davis and Gerardo Parra, all swinging.
Pavlovich walked off the field to a standing ovation from a strong contingent of Panthers fans who made the trip to Arizona and watched the team split four games with nearby Grand Canyon University last weekend.
''It was an awesome experience. I just went out there and did what I knew I was capable of doing,'' said Pavlovich, who normally throws 91-92 mph but hit 94 on the speed gun Wednesday. ''I was just out there throwing and having fun. Everything was working. It was pretty surreal.
''I know my dad loved it. He's always the only voice I can hear coming out of the stands. Everybody else is just kind of muted.''
Mike Pavlovich was beaming as he watched his son being interviewed.
''I couldn't feel any better,'' he said. ''It was something we'll all never forget.''
Roenicke was happy for Pavlovich as well.
''He had a nice fastball, a little life on it. It was great to see a guy come in there, facing the guys he did and making us look bad,'' Roenicke said.