Spring Training: Braves clipped by Phillies, 5-3 (2015)

The Braves gave it a valiant effort in the late innings, but could not avoid a 5-3 loss to the Phillies on Tuesday afternoon.

At the plate: Just one day after piling up 14 runs, the Braves had some trouble getting the run-scoring machine started. It was to no fault of their leadoff man, as Eric Young Jr. collected three more hits and is now batting .314 for the spring.  Down in the eight spot, shortstop Andrelton Simmons just keeps on producing. He belted his second home run, a two-run shot that gives him a team-high 12 RBI in 10 games this spring. Jonny Gomes and Freddie Freeman each finished 1-for-3 on the day, while Nick Markakis was held hitless in three at-bats as he got his first start in right field. In order to get some extra at-bats, Markakis will take part in a minor league game on Thursday. He’s likely to get seven plate appearances per Mark Bowman of MLB.com.

On the mound: It was an important start for Mike Foltynewicz, who was hoping to keep his name front in center in the fifth starter battle. Unfortunately, he was unable to repeat the success he enjoyed in his previous outing. The velocity was there, but Foltynewicz did not show the same command this time out. He allowed three runs on five hits – two of those home runs – and walked two over 2-2/3 innings of work. On the positive side, lefty Manny Banuelos had another solid outing. He tossed three shut-out innings and struck out a pair. Both men are trying to crack the Atlanta rotation, but face stiff competition from veteran left-handers Wandy Rodriguez and Eric Stults to do so.

Of note: Lefty Mike Minor has resumed throwing, David O’Brien of the AJC notes that it’s only the first step in the process of overcoming the shoulder inflammation that shelved him earlier this spring:

The Braves lost out in the Hector Olivera sweepstakes. The star Cuban infielder, soon to turn 30 years old, signed with the Dodgers. He received a 6-year, $62.5 million deal with a $28 million signing bonus according to Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com. Atlanta was among several interested teams, but did not make an offer that approached what Los Angeles was willing to extend.

 

Up next: Braves @ Pirates — Thursday, March 26 at 1:05 p.m.

LHP Wandy Rodriguez vs. RHP Vance Worley

 

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

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