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Trio of Brewers pitchers thriving at Classic

Lopez, Peralta and Burgos play key roles in victories
March 12, 2017

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- From Jorge Lopez to Wily Peralta to Hiram Burgos, it was an excellent 24 hours for Brewers pitchers in the World Baseball Classic.After Lopez pitched into the fifth inning of Puerto Rico's win over Mexico on Saturday, Peralta pitched four solid innings of the Dominican Republic's extra-inning

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- From Jorge Lopez to Wily Peralta to Hiram Burgos, it was an excellent 24 hours for Brewers pitchers in the World Baseball Classic.
After Lopez pitched into the fifth inning of Puerto Rico's win over Mexico on Saturday, Peralta pitched four solid innings of the Dominican Republic's extra-inning thriller over Colombia, and Burgos delivered three innings of hitless relief for Puerto Rico in its win over Italy on Sunday.
Complete World Baseball Classic coverage
Peralta is expected to return to Brewers camp because he was in the Dominican Republic's designated pitcher pool, and was only to be available in the first round. After allowing a run in the first inning against Colombia, he settled in and pitched through the end of the fourth, allowing that one run on two hits, with a walk and six strikeouts. Forty of Peralta's 59 pitches were strikes.
"I didn't see any of it, but everybody said he pitched well. Really well," Brewers manager Craig Counsell said.
In Jalisco, Mexico, Burgos took over for Puerto Rico in the sixth inning with a 9-3 lead over Italy. He worked three scoreless innings without allowing a hit, with one walk and one strikeout.
It was a flashback to the 2013 Classic, when Burgos allowed one run in 13 innings over three relief appearances.
This time, Burgos has company in the tournament. Lopez, who ranks 13th on MLBPipeline.com's list of the top Brewers prospects, held host Mexico to one run on two hits over 4 1/3 innings of a 9-4 win. Lopez walked two and struck out five.

Long road for Houle
Catcher Dustin Houle was a fitting batterymate for pitching prospect Taylor Williams' live batting practice session Saturday. Williams hasn't pitched for two years following Tommy John surgery. Houle knows what it is like to be stuck in rehab mode.
Houle has undergone Tommy John surgery himself, and that's just the start. Since the Brewers made him an eighth-round Draft pick in 2011, Houle has also broken both hands, suffered a herniated disc in his back and a significant hamstring injury.
He's missed two full seasons, and until last year had never logged more than 203 at-bats.

"It's a grind," said Houle, 23. "Sometimes you don't want to go to the field and do the same exercises to get your body ready to do the rehab. It's quite a process.
"You kind of figure out who you are without the game of baseball. You pick up hobbies. … I would have tried anything to keep my mind sane and happy."
This marks his first big league camp. Houle -- whose name is pronounced "hool," spent most of last season at advanced Class A Brevard County, but did see two games at Double-A Biloxi.
"This is the most fun I've had playing ball," Houle said.
Crisis averted
Top Brewers prospect Lewis Brinson and No. 28 prospect Michael Reed were both able to remain in Sunday's 4-2 loss to the Reds after being hit by pitches, Brinson on the thumb and Reed on the forearm.
"Both are going to be a little sore [Monday], probably," Counsell said, "but they stayed in the game, so that's a good thing."

Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy, like him on Facebook and listen to his podcast.