PHOENIX (AP) — Aramis Ramirez had a single in two at-bats in his return to Milwaukee’s lineup after missing two weeks because of a sprained left knee, helping the Brewers beat the Cleveland Indians 4-3 on Friday.
Ramirez, who hit .300 last year with 27 home runs, 105 RBIs and a National League-leading 50 doubles, was 1 for 11 before injuring himself while sliding in a March 2 game against the Los Angeles Angles.
“I’ve always said that spring training, especially this one, is too long for position players,” Ramirez said about the exhibition season that started early this year because of the World Baseball Classic. “The pitchers need to build innings, but for a player, 40-50 at-bats should be good. We’ve been here a month already and we still have 15 days to go. If you’re going to get hurt, I did it at the right time.”
He grounded into an inning-ending double play in the first and started a two-run rally by reaching on an infield single to start the fourth before being replaced by a pinch runner.
“My speed is back. I’m flying,” Ramirez joked after legging out the hit. “Everything felt normal and that’s what I expected. I’m not going to do anything stupid out there, but I didn’t feel like I needed to hold back. I’m going to play tomorrow, take a day off and then go hard the rest of the spring.”
Jean Segura and Blake Lalli each had a pair of RBIs for the Brewers, who had 10 hits. Mark Reynolds homered for Cleveland — a 430-foot-plus shot to left in the ninth. He’s hitting .393 with seven extra base hits.
“That last swing was pretty impressive,” Cleveland manager Terry Francona said. “He’s a good hitter, that’s why he’s here.”
The Indians used first-inning singles by Michael Bourn, Michael Brantley and Nick Swisher to score two runs off Milwaukee starter Chris Narverson. But the Brewers tied it in the second off Cleveland’s Brett Meyers when Segura tripled home Logan Schafer, then scored on Lalli’s suicide squeeze.
“I felt like I made some of my best pitches in the first inning and I wound up giving up a few runs,” Narveson said after allowing seven hits in four innings. “I felt like I settled down and it was nice to throw my breaking pitches for strikes.”
Indians catcher Yan Gomes singled and doubled in his two at-bats, but sustained a left hamstring injury running out the double in the fourth and had to leave the game. His replacement, Brian Jeroloman, appeared to score on Juan Diaz’s single a batter later, but was called out for failing to touch third base.