Spring Training: Braves top Red Sox, 4-2 (2015)
The Atlanta Braves handed the Boston Red Sox a 4-2 defeat in a rain shortened affair on Friday afternoon.
At the plate: The Braves offense piled up 12 hits and touched up Clay Buchholz for four runs. The big blow came in the bottom of the second, when Pedro Ciriaco stroked a two-out, bases-clearing double to give Atlanta a 3-0 lead. Ciriaco collected two hits against his old team and is now batting .370 with 12 RBI on the spring. Despite putting up good numbers, he still faces stiff competition for a reserve infielder spot. Meanwhile, Kelly Johnson appears to be solidifying his case for a spot on the 25-man roster. He belted a solo homer off Buchholz in the sixth inning to make it a 4-2 game. After starting the spring 2-for-19 with six punch-outs, he’s now hit safely in eight of his last nine games and struck out just three times over that span.
There were plenty of multi-hit games up and down the lineup. Freddie Freeman went 2-for-4 and is now batting .390 on the spring. Veteran catcher A.J. Pierzynski went 2-for-3, upping his average to .393. After a slow start, Alberto Callaspo has come on of late. He picked up two more hits and has 10 hits in his last 27 at-bats. Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez opted to try out Phil Gosselin in center field. He spent six innings in the outfield and responded with a 2-for-3 day before moving to third base to open the seventh. Gosselin has seen a little time in left field in the minors which added another layer of versatility to his game.
On the mound: Julio Teheran was officially named Atlanta’s opening day starter for the second straight season following the game. He had to work around base runners throughout the day, allowing five hits and walking four batters over 5-2/3 innings. The only damage he incurred came on a two-run homer off the bat of Mookie Betts in the top of the fourth inning. Joe Cornelly finished off the sixth inning and recorded two outs in the seventh before the game was called due to rain. He was credited with his second save of the spring.
Of note: Prior to the game, the Braves trimmed the spring roster by three, optioning outfielder Eury Perez, left-hander Manny Banuelos and right-hander Williams Perez to Triple-A Gwinnett. That leaves Atlanta with 40 active players remaining in big league camp.
Up next: Braves @ Blue Jays — Saturday, March 28 at 1:07 p.m.
LHP Alex Wood vs. RHP Marco Estrada
Grant McAuley covers the Braves for Sports Radio 92-9 The Game. Follow Grant on Twitter