No issues in Marcum’s return

Shaun Marcum was tired but not tight in his return to the Brewers’ starting rotation, and that made Monday’s outing against the Padres a very good one.

Marcum, slotted as the Brewers’ No. 2 starter, returned to action after skipping his previous start because of a tight shoulder and delivered four innings at Maryvale Baseball Park. It went just as planned.

“Except for the homers,” he joked, referring to Will Venable’s leadoff homer and Brad Hawpe’s two run shot in the fourth.

He was charged with three runs on four hits, with one walk and four strikeouts and threw 68 pitches. He said he felt no tightness in his shoulder, and was pleasantly surprised by the life on his fastball.

“We got where we needed to get, up around 70 pitches,” he said Monday. “Obviously, I’d like to be up to 95, 100 pitches right now. The first 50 I felt great, and then I got a little tired, which is normal. I haven’t thrown above 55 pitches all spring, and then you take two weeks off and come back out and throw 68, it’s a challenge, fatigue-wise. The legs, body felt great, the arm just got a little tired. That was expected. …

“I’m not a max-effort pitcher, but I’ve got some catching-up to do. It was pretty relieving to go out and [pitch].”

Marcum will throw a bullpen session on Wednesday in Cincinnati, then is slated to start Saturday against the Reds.

The Brewers’ offense made sure his return was a success. Left fielder Ryan Braun homered twice, second baseman Rickie Weeks also went deep and shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt delivered two hits including an RBI single.

“It seems like [the Brewers] do it every year,” Marcum said. “It’s fun to watch. These guys crank the ball.”

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