When the D-backs and Cardinals went 16 innings on Wednesday, Arizona southpaw Patrick Corbin nearly made his 2013 debut in the outfield instead of on the mound. With the club running out of position players and bullpen arms, D-backs manager Kirk Gibson told Corbin to prepare himself to play defense if needed.
The game ended, however, before that scenario could play out and Corbin will be in his usual position Saturday, when he takes the mound for the D-backs as they look to secure their second consecutive series win with a victory over the Brewers.
Corbin beat out top prospects Tyler Skaggs and Randall Delgado for the fifth spot in the D-backs' rotation this spring by allowing eight earned runs over 25 2/3 innings for a 2.81 ERA.
"I thought he was really good," Gibson said. "He was very confident coming in. He was himself and worked on becoming a better pitcher."
For the Brewers, they'll also send their No. 5 starter to the mound Saturday, with Mike Fiers making his first start of the year. The right-hander is coming off a lackluster Spring Training in which he finished with a 6.98 ERA in six Cactus League games, five starts, allowing a .333 opponents' batting average.
"Numbers-wise, it was terrible, but it was definitely a learning experience," Fiers said. "It always feels different in Spring Training, that's for sure, but it's not an excuse. I need to get guys out. It wasn't working the way I wanted it to work, but I think I benefited from it and I'm ready to go. I got my confidence back a little bit. I think my confidence was down a little, just from starting the spring on a bad side."
Fiers also left last year on a sour note, going 1-4 with a 7.09 ERA in his final six starts. Fatigue may have been a factor as he finished with 182 2/3 innings between Nashville and Milwaukee after throwing 128 innings the year before.
"I think I was giving the hitters a lot of credit late in the year and was kind of pitching around them," Fiers said. "I walked a lot of guys. That was the biggest thing in Spring Training too -- walking a lot of guys. I need to get ahead of them and make it harder on them."
D-backs: Eaton making progress
Adam Eaton hit off a tee for the second straight day Friday just two weeks after being placed on the disabled list with an injured left elbow.
Eaton is still a ways away from throwing, but after 14 days of not doing any baseball activities, he was thrilled.
"I feel more athletic now that I can actually do some swinging," Eaton joked. "Everything is going really well."
On Saturday, Eaton is slated to hit some soft toss and hopes next week to get into some extended spring games where he would only hit and not play in the field.
Brewers: Braun and Ramirez sidelined
The Brewers scratched left fielder Ryan Braun from the starting lineup about 45 minutes before the start of Friday's game, citing neck spasms.
The move cost the Brewers one of their hottest hitters. Braun hit safely, scored a run and drove in a run in each of the team's first three games of the season. He was 4-for-10 overall.
Milwaukee suffered another injury during the game Friday, when Aramis Ramirez left in the fourth inning with a sprained left knee after sliding awkwardly into second base.
• D-backs outfielder Cody Ross began a rehab assignment for a left calf strain with Class A Advanced Visalia on Thursday as the club's DH, batting 0-for-2 with a sacrifice fly. He was also the DH for Visalia on Friday night, going 0-for-3.
• Brewers shortstop Jean Segura is batting .429 (6-for-14) through the first four games of the season after batting .367 (22-for-60) during Spring Training. He hit his first career home run Friday night.
Tyler Emerick is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.