Spring Training: Split-squad Braves fall to Tigers and Mets (2015)
The Braves were in split squad action on Saturday afternoon, but neither game went Atlanta’s way. The Tigers marched into Champion Stadium and claimed a 12-6 victory. Down in St. Lucie, it was the Mets who got the best of the Braves, notching a 3-1 win.
At the plate vs. Tigers: Justin Verlander (1-0) kept Atlanta off the board in his two innings of work. He breezed through the first, but walks to A.J. Pierzynski and John Buck were sandwiched around a single by Todd Cunningham as the Braves loaded the bases in the second. Verlander struck out Daniel Castro and escape the jam.
Atlanta finally dented the scoreboard in the fourth on Castro’s sac-fly RBI. John Buck roped a two-run double in the sixth to make it an 11-3 game. Cunningham, who is getting consideration for the center field job, had a nice day at the plate. He went 2-for-3 with two walks and an RBI and was robbed of extra-bases in ninth. After Freddie Freeman departed 0-for-2, Joey Terdoslavich checked in at first base, ripped a pair of doubles and scored two runs.
On the mound vs. Tigers: This was not the kind of Braves debut that Shelby Miller (0-1) had in mind. He allowed four runs on three hits and two walks before being lifted with just one away in the first inning. Luis Avilan worked out of trouble and gave the Braves 1-2/3 innings of scoreless relief, walking one and striking out three. The Tigers touched up Williams Perez and Donnie Veal for seven more runs in the fourth, extending the lead to 11-0. Brady Fiegl worked a clean sixth with a pair of strikeouts. Veteran righty Todd Coffey, another bullpen hopeful with a minor league deal, tossed a scoreless eighth. He allowed a hit and struck out two.
At the plate vs. Mets: The Braves had plenty of speed in the lineup against Jacob deGrom (1-0). Eric Young Jr. was 1-for-4 and plated the only run against the righty with an RBI-ground out in the third inning. With Young in center, Eury Perez slid over to left field and went 1-for-3 with the lone run scored. Jose Peraza started at shortstop. He was 0-for-4 with two strikeouts and was denied a bunt base hit on a barehanded play by David Wright in the third inning. Catcher Christian Bethancourt caught six innings and was 1-for-3. Mallex Smith pinch-ran for Bethancourt in the seventh and later lined a ninth inning triple in his lone at-bat. Kelly Johnson started at third base and was 1-for-3 with a triple. Alberto Callaspo and Zoilo Almonte were each hitless in three at-bats.
On the mound vs. Mets: Mike Foltynewicz fared better than Miller, though he was likewise unable to finish a two-inning stint. The righty tossed a scoreless first inning, then ran into trouble in the second. Foltynewicz allowed an RBI-single to Michael Conforto and departed with the bases loaded and two outs. Aaron Kurcz came on to fan David Wright.
Foltynewicz’s final line: 1-2/3 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 1 K, 1 WP.
Left-hander Manny Banuelos (0-1) allowed a pair of runs – one earned – in the third inning as Conforto nailed a two-run double. Jose Veras and Matt Capps tossed scoreless innings, while Sugar Ray Marimon was good for a couple.
Of note: Third baseman Chris Johnson was scratched from lineup against the Mets with a sore left wrist according to David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Johnson said it happened while taking extra swings in the cage and hopes to be back in the lineup as soon as Sunday… Right fielder Nick Markakis is likely two weeks away from making his spring debut reports Mark Bowman of MLB.com… Right-hander Cody Martin will start in Mike Minor’s place on Sunday against Houston. Minor will visit Dr. James Andrews to have his left shoulder examined this week. Martin was 7-8 with a 3.52 ERA and 142 strikeouts in 156 innings for Triple-A Gwinnett in 2014.
Up Next: Braves @ Astros — Sunday, March 8, at 1:05 PM
RHP Cody Martin vs. RHP Scott Feldman
Grant McAuley covers the Braves for Sports Radio 92-9 The Game. Follow Grant on Twitter.