Spring Training: Braves pound Astros, 14-10 (2015)
The Atlanta offense was clicking on all cylinders Monday afternoon. The Braves cranked out 19 hits in a 14-10 win over the Houston Astros.
At the plate: It was a big day at the plate on a number of fronts. For starters, Nick Markakis made his long-awaited spring debut, serving as the designated hitter. After missing the first three weeks of the Grapefruit League season while recovering from December neck surgery, he doubled and singled in three at-bats. Here’s a look at Markakis’ double:
The hits were plenty, up and down the lineup as six men turned in multi-hit games. Eric Young Jr. supplied three out of the lead-off spot and also scored a pair of runs. In need of a good day at the plate, Zoilo Almonte collected three hits, including a pair of RBI-singles. Perhaps most encouraging of all, Andrelton Simmons continued his torrid pace this spring. He boosted his average to .481 after banging out two more hits, including a two-run double in the 3rd inning. He finished with four RBI on the day, but left the game in the fourth inning after being hit by a pitch in the elbow. He is not expected to miss much if any time. Freddie Freeman and Chris Johnson also had two hits apiece, with Johnson reaching base four times thanks to a pair of walks as well.
On the mound: With the threat of rain, Atlanta opted to push Mike Foltynewicz back a day and go with bullpen arms instead. Righties Michael Kohn and Juan Jaime began the day by each tossing a scoreless frame. James Russell’s ran into some trouble, allowing a two runs in the third and two more in the fourth before settling in. All in all, Russell allowed four earned on four hits and a walk. He has been hit hard this spring, with an ERA of 10.57 (10 earned runs in 7-2/3 innings) and opponents hitting .294 with three home runs thus far. There wasn’t much else to glean from the pitching lines on Monday, with non-roster arms finishing the day. Veteran Todd Coffey surrendered two earned in his only inning of work, while Ryan Kelly allowed four runs in the ninth before Aaron Kurcz came on to put out the fire and close out the win.
Of note: Markakis will return to the field on Tuesday, getting a start in right field against the Phillies according to David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution… Lefty Mike Minor, who has been sidelined with inflammation in his throwing shoulder will resume throwing this week reports Mark Bowman of MLB.com. Minor will begin the season on the disabled for the second straight year, but is optimistic he can rejoin the team before the end of April… Foltynewicz will get the start against Philadelphia on Tuesday, with Manny Banuelos following in relief… The Braves also trimmed the roster by three on Monday, reassigning right-hander Sugar Ray Marimon, left-hander Donnie Veal and catcher Braeden Schlehuber to minor league camp.
Up next: Braves vs. Phillies — Tuesday, March 23 at 1:05 p.m.
RHP Mike Foltynewicz vs. RHP Aaron Harang
Grant McAuley covers the Braves for Sports Radio 92-9 The Game. Follow Grant on Twitter