Tribe wins 18th of spring

GARY SCHATZ Associated Press Published:

GOODYEAR, Ariz. (AP) -- Michael Brantley and Jason Kipnis drove in two runs apiece to send the Cleveland Indians to their 18th win of the spring, 10-2 over the Milwaukee Brewers on Wednesday.

Brantley tripled, singled and walked to increase his spring average to .522.

"He is such a good hitter," manager Terry Francona said. "Regardless of what he does opening day. I can see him getting better as he learns the league."

Kipnis doubled and singled. Lonnie Chisenhall hit his third home run off Brewers starter Yovanni Gallardo. Nick Swisher went deep against Francisco Rodriguez.

The Brewers managed three singles against Justin Masterson, who had his final spring start before opening the season on the mound in Oakland.

"I don't know what the numbers are but Masty came in prepared to haul a lot of innings," Francona said.

Carlos Gomez singled and robbed catcher Luke Carlin of an extra-base hit, making a leaping catch against the centerfield wall.

STARTING TIME

Indians: Masterson pitched 52⁄3 innings, allowing one run on three singles and two walks. He struck out five.

"We're as ready as you can be," Masterson said. "You never know until you get there but we're having fun. I hope we can carry it over into game one. I'm always working on stuff. I may have used pitch sequences differently. I like to keep a few things in my back pocket."

TRAINER'S ROOM

Indians: The Indians 25-man roster is set. Jason Giambi will be added to the 40-man roster and start the season on the disabled list. He was hit by a pitch by Edwin Jackson of the Cubs on March 7. The Indians will put Giambi on the disabled list formally on Sunday.

HOME OPENER

Danny Salazar will make the first home start of the season against Minnesota on April 4. Salazar started spring as the fifth starter as he was brought along slowly by the Indians.

"It just happened to lineup that way," Francona said. "We would have had to move two guys around. That didn't make sense to me."

"I was surprised," said Salazar, who also pitched the final game at Progressive Field in the wild card loss to Tampa Bay. "It is exciting. I'm ready for it. I started behind the other pitchers so I thought I was fifth until this morning. It will be exciting like the playoff game, just a little less pressure."

ROTATION FULL

Carlos Carrasco was told he earned the fifth spot in the Indians rotation this morning. The 27-year old made five trips to Cleveland in 2013 bouncing between Triple A Columbus and the majors, his last option year.

He was 1-4 with a 6.75 ERA but played a key role out of the bullpen during the Indians stretch run.

Carrasco competed with Josh Tomlin, Aaron Harang and Trevor Bauer for his place in the rotation.

Tomlin was optioned to Triple-A Columbus.

Tomlin is recovering from elbow reconstruction surgery and has options. The Indians want him to get consistent work rather than working out of the bullpen. Harang was released and signed by the Atlanta Braves. Bauer was sent to Columbus on Monday.

TIGERS 1, PHILLIES 0

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- In his last start of the spring, Justin Verlander outdueled Cliff Lee, shutting out the Phillies over 6 1-3 innings in the Tigers' 1-0 win.

Verlander has been nearly perfect this spring, not allowing a single run in 20 innings pitched. Wednesday might've been his most dominant outing yet.

Only Wil Nieves and Chase Utley managed hits off Tigers pitchers, both singles, for the Phillies.

Lee's only mistakes came in the first, as Miguel Cabrera delivered a RBI groundout after Ian Kinsler tripled. Lee pitched five innings, allowing just the one run while striking out seven. Verlander also struck out seven hitters.

The Tigers did manage 10 hits Wednesday, all against pitchers with major-league experience. Torii Hunter went 2 for 3 with a double. Jared Reaves also had a double for Detroit.

STARTING TIME

Detroit: Justin Verlander upped his spring scoreless streak to 20 innings of work. Verlander is coming off shoulder surgery in the offseason, but has shown few ill effects from it.

"It's what I expected," Verlander said. "I don't think you can allow yourself to doubt. When doubt creeps in your mind, that leads to failure. You have to look on the optimistic side of things."

The Phillies played most of their regulars, something most teams do as spring nears its end. Six of the Phillies' hitters Wednesday will start Opening Day.

"I feel like I've faced a lot of regulars this spring, I've been going on the road a lot," Verlander said.

"So I've faced most of the lineups. I'd rather it be like that. You get a better gauge of where you're at."

WHITE SOX 9, REDS 5

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Jose Abreu hit a three-run home run and the Chicago White Sox defeated the Cincinnati Reds 9-5 on Wednesday.

The final game of the spring at Camelback Ranch featured high wind, occasional dust, five errors and two replay reviews -- both upheld.

Abreu's homer, his third of the spring, came against Reds starter Brett Marshall in Chicago's four-run fourth frame.

White Sox starter John Danks, in his final tuneup for the season, didn't allow a hit until the fourth inning and struck out five. He finished the spring with a 2.96 ERA in six starts.

STARTING TIME

Reds: Marshall entered Wednesday with a 2.08 ERA in four spring starts. But he was knocked around by the White Sox, giving up 12 hits and seven runs in five innings.

He also hit a batter and committed an error on a high throw to first.

"He's a better pitcher than he pitched today," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "They put some balls in play. They had some soft hits, they had some balls they hit right on the screws.

Marshall is a contender for the No. 5 starter behind Johnny Cueto, Tony Cingrani, Homer Bailey and Mat Latos.

"We know he's got good stuff. It was tough conditions," Price said of Marshall.

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