Spring Training: Braves beat Marlins, 6-3 (2015)
The Braves handed the Miami Marlins a 6-3 defeat on Thursday afternoon. Jonny Gomes had a two-run single that highlighted a three-run third inning rally which put Atlanta ahead for good.
At the plate: The Braves got plenty of run production out of the top four hitters in the order. From the leadoff spot, Eric Young Jr. went 1-for-4, scored a pair of runs and drove in another with a well-placed bunt. Young is hitting .257 with eight RBI and eight runs scored in his 11 spring games and appears to have the inside track on the starting job in center field with Melvin Upton Jr. out with a foot injury. Second baseman Alberto Callaspo was searching for a good day at the plate and found it with two hits and an RBI. Freddie Freeman was 0-for-2 but scored a run, while Gomes plated two runs with his third inning single. Kelly Johnson followed up Wednesday’s three-run homer by reaching base four times – two hits and two walks – against Miami on Thursday.
On the mound: Manny Banuelos turned in a much-needed, solid two inning outing. He allowed a second inning run on a flare single by Jeff Mathis. Otherwise, he showed much better command during his 37 pitch stint. He allowed three hits, struck out one and did not issue a walk. Cody Martin (1-0) followed Banuelos and picked up the win with three innings of shut-out ball. Martin, who is likewise trying to crack the Atlanta rotation, gave up three hits and a walk while striking out one. He has now thrown eight scoreless innings this spring and has pushed his name into the mix for a spot in the bullpen should he miss out on the fifth starter’s job.
Lefty reliever Josh Outman had a tough go of it in the sixth inning. He was tagged for two runs on four hits, including an RBI-double by Ichiro Suzuki. Over the final three innings, Donnie Veal, Aaron Kurcz and John Cornely each provided scoreless frames to close out the win.
Of note: Catcher Christian Bethancourt was scratched from Thursday’s game with flu-like symptoms… Prior to the game, the Braves announced they have released right-hander Jose Veras, who was a non-roster invitee battling for a spot in the bullpen. Veras, 34, had pitched to the tune of an 11.81 ERA and was plagued by control problems throughout his six appearance. He’d allowed seven earned runs on eight hits with seven walks, hit two batters and thrown three wild pitches in 5-1/3 innings… Atlanta also released infielder Tyler Pastornicky, who was taken off the 40-man roster over the winter. Pastornicky, 25, won the starting shortstop job in spring of 2012, but was eventually supplanted by Andrelton Simmons. A torn ACL derailed Pastornicky’s 2013 season. He is a career .243/.295/.314 hitter in 350 plate appearances for Atlanta.
Up Next: Braves @ Marlins — Friday, March 20, at 7:05 PM
LHP Wandy Rodriguez vs. RHP Dan Haren
Grant McAuley covers the Braves for Sports Radio 92-9 The Game. Follow Grant on Twitter.