Spring Training: Split squad Braves struggle again (2015)

The Braves haven’t had much luck in split squad games thus far this spring. Just like the first time, the Tigers and Mets got the best of Atlanta’s two groups. Detroit touched up Mike Foltynewicz for five runs in the first inning en route to a 12-2 win over Atlanta at Champion Stadium. Down in St. Lucie, the Mets likewise roughed up starter Manny Banuelos for five runs in their 13-2 victory over the Braves.

At the plate vs. Tigers: Atlanta’s offense was missing in action for much of the day, but started to wake up in the latter innings. Zoilo Almonte’s sacrifice fly got the Braves on the board in the seventh and was followed by an RBI-single from Cedric Hunter that made it a 6-2 game. Playing in his second game since returning from a strained oblique, Andrelton Simmons was the designated hitter and once again finished 1-for-3. Freddie Freeman had a hit and a walk in three trips to the plate. Chris Johnson was 1-for-3.

On the mound vs. Tigers: Mike Foltynewicz had a rough day in his second start, though a two-out error on Alberto Callaspo led to a bigger first inning for Detroit. In his second audition for the fifth starter’s spot, Foltynewicz battled with his command again. He surrendered three hits and walked a pair, including one with the bases loaded. With Foltynewicz out, Todd Coffey inherited a bases-loaded jam with two-outs. The veteran right allowed a two-run single that capped a five run frame. All five runs were charged to Foltynewicz, though just one was earned. For good measure, Detroit added one in the seventh, two in the eight and three more in the ninth. Lucas Sims retired just one of the six Tigers he faced in that ninth inning before giving way to Jake Brigham.

At the plate vs. Mets: The Braves didn’t exactly enjoy their time in St. Lucie either. Phil Gosselin started at short and finished 2-for-3 with an RBI. Otherwise, the highlights were few and far between. Jace Peterson and Eury Perez were each 1-for-3.

On the mound vs. Mets: Left-hander Manny Banuelos (0-2) allowed five runs – all earned – on three hits and two walks and was pulled with two outs in the first inning. Banuelos struck out one and uncorked a pair of wild pitches. After Luis Avilan allowed a pair of runs in the second, the Mets continued the barrage with four runs against Carlos Fisher in the third inning. Juan Jaime had a forgettable outing. In just 2/3 of an inning, he allowed a run on one hit,  four walks and a wild pitch. Arodys Vizcaino struck out three in 1-1/3 innings of work, but surrendered a run as well. Much of the damage was done by Mets shortstop Wilmer Flores, who finished his day 3-for-4 with three RBI and three runs scored.

Up Next: Braves vs. Astros — Saturday, March 14, at 6:05 PM

LHP Wandy Rodriguez vs. RHP Collin McHugh

Grant McAuley covers the Braves for Sports Radio 92-9 The Game. Follow Grant on Twitter.

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