PHOENIX (AP) -- John Axford was fighting food poisoning last spring, leaving the Milwaukee Brewers unsure about his future with the team. After a breakthrough season, they no longer have any doubts about the tall Canadian closer.
There's no questioning the 6-foot-5 right-hander's command or velocity now. Not with a 98 mph fastball, two devastating off-speed pitches and good control.
Axford had a franchise-record 46 saves last year, converting his last 43 chances to set another team record. He was 2-2 with a 2.26 ERA in 73 2-3 innings in 74 appearances to help the Brewers win the NL Central.
He has been sharp in camp and expects to pitch Sunday in the exhibition opener against San Francisco.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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