Brewers hang on to defeat White Sox
More than 14,000 fans attend Miller Park exhibition
MILWAUKEE -- The Brewers' bullpen did not exactly breeze through its Miller Park debut, but Junior Spivey hit his first spring home run and finished with three RBIs to lead Milwaukee past the Chicago White Sox, 7-6, in a Friday exhibition.
The White Sox made it interesting by scoring five times in the final two innings, and had the tying and go-ahead runners on base when Derrick Turnbow finally nailed down his third spring save.
"Somebody's got to step up and take it," Brewers manager Ned Yost said of Milwaukee's still-unsettled closer situation. "The opportunity is out there to step up and get the job done."
In Chicago's half of the eighth, with the Brewers leading, 6-1, Jermaine Dye hit an RBI single, Aaron Rowand lined a two-run triple and Chris Widger lifted a sacrifice fly before Milwaukee lefty Jorge De La Rosa could escape with the lead intact.
Jeff Cirillo, appearing in Milwaukee in a Brewers uniform for the first time since 1999, bunted in a run in the bottom of the eighth, but Chicago's Ross Gload got it back in the ninth when he legged out an infield RBI single.
With runners at first and second, Turnbow induced a game-ending groundout.
Starter Doug Davis (2-0), who is on track to pitch the Brewers' home opener on April 11, allowed a run in 4 1/3 innings for the win.
Spivey had been sidelined since March 27, when he suffered a lacerated lip, a Grade 1 concussion and a swollen lymph node in his neck resulting from a collision with a Los Angeles Angels baserunner. That incident came as Spivey was gaining strength in his surgically-repaired left shoulder.
"I thought he looked good out there," Brewers hitting coach Butch Wynegar said. "I think the No. 2 slot is going to be good for him. I think he and Brady [Clark] could score 100 runs this year."
His setbacks did not seem to bother Spivey on Friday, when his first-inning solo home run off White Sox starter Jose Contreras (0-3) put the Brewers on the board. Contreras pitched four innings and allowed three runs on four hits. He struck out four.
"I was really happy with what I saw today," Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said about his starter. "Our concern was him throwing a lot of pitches for strikes. I like what I see, and I think I feel more comfortable having him coming into the game. I think if he uses his fastball a little bit more, hopefully he can carry this to the end."
Geoff Jenkins, Clark, J.J. Hardy and Cirillo also notched RBIs for the Brewers, who hosted 14,645 for the first of two weekend exhibitions against Chicago. Many of those fans stood to welcome back Cirillo, Milwaukee's all-time batting average leader, before he dropped his RBI bunt single in the eighth to score Racine, Wis., native Vinny Rottino from third.
The teams will each wrap up Spring Training on Saturday afternoon in an American League-style game with designated hitters.
"I think today is like Opening Day," Guillen said. "It's nice to see a lot of people here. Everybody was excited to play. The game was fun, and now we play two games here and it'll feel like real baseball."
Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.