Mon. Final: Padres 4, Brewers 3
PEORIA, Ariz. (AP) -- With two spots open in the San Diego Padres' rotation, guys like Josh Geer have something to pitch for this spring.
Geer, who missed his last start of the 2008 season due to a sore right elbow, pitched two solid innings in his first spring training start on Monday, a 4-3 win over the Milwaukee Brewers. He allowed one run and three hits while striking out one.
He's competing for one the open spots behind Jake Peavy, Chris Young and Cha Seung Baek as the Padres look to rebound from a 99-loss season.
"It feels really good to know that there are two spots open for the starting rotation," Geer said. "It gives everyone a good chance of making the team. I feel real confident that I can be one of those guys."
Geer made his big league debut with the Padres last year, going 2-1 with a 2.67 ERA before missing his last start due to soreness in his elbow. Geer said an MRI detected a frayed ligament.
"So far it's felt pretty good," Geer said. "I guess it healed on its own. It's not bothering me right now." He let the elbow rest after the season and was able to avoid surgery.
Geer struck out Prince Fielder to end the first inning with a runner on first. He threw a 2-1 changeup "and he came out of shoes trying to, I guess, hit a mile, and I said, 'You know what, let's throw it again' and he swung and missed again," Geer said.
Padres right-hander Mat Latos gave up his third homer in two spring appearances, a two-run shot to Corey Hart in the third inning that tied the score at 3-all.
Latos gave up two home runs on Friday in a loss to the Cleveland Indians. Before Friday, Latos had never pitched above Single-A.
Brewers starter Jeff Suppan allowed three runs and three hits in three innings, including Emil Brown's three-run homer with one out in the first inning. Suppan issued one-out walks to Chris Burke and Cliff Floyd before allowing Brown's shot to left.
"He had a little bit of trouble with his fastball command in that first inning," manager Ken Macha said. "I think he only had like three strikes in nine balls with it, something like that. "When you fall behind, you have problems. I Brown's a terrific first-ball fastball hitter. Walk a couple of guys, three-run homer.
"But you know, it's nice to see him bounce back. His command got better the next two innings."
San Diego's Travis Denker doubled in the go-ahead run in the fourth.
Notes: Padres RF Brian Giles was scratched with a tight quad. He said he first felt it tighten on Saturday. ... Randy Smith, the Padres' director of international scouting, returned from the team's invitational camp for 21 top Latin American players at its Dominican academy. Smith was encouraged but said time will tell if this group was as good as last year's, when 18 of the 19 who attended were signed by various teams for $18 million.
(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)