Spring Training: Braves top Blue Jays, 5-3 (2015)
The Atlanta Braves came from behind to beat the Toronto Blue Jays by a 5-3 score on Saturday afternoon.
At the plate: Eric Young Jr. remains red hot. Make it four consecutive multi-hit games for him after two more hits on Saturday. Young went 2-for-3 with a stolen base and also turned in some nice work with the leather in center, including an excellent diving catch. [Watch Here]
Phil Gosselin had a two-hit day and drove in the first Atlanta run with an RBI-single in the top of the second. Trailing 3-1 in the sixth inning, Pedro Ciriaco delivered his second big hit in as many days. His two-run single tied things up, while his 2-for-4 day pushed his Grapefruit League average up to .380 with a team-high 14 RBI. As a test of his versatility, manager Fredi Gonzalez gave Ciriaco some time in the outfield, where he’s played just nine games (25 innings) in his big league career and even less in his minor league days.
Kelly Johnson went 1-for-2 with two runs scored and a pair of walks and continues to make a strong push to make the team as a non-roster invitee. He’s batting .400 with three doubles, two homers and six walks over his last 10 games. The odds-on favorite to open the season at second base, Jace Peterson put the Braves on top to stay in the eighth inning with a two-run double off the glove of a diving Melky Mesa in right field. Peterson finished 1-for-4 with a walk. Zoilo Almonte picked up two hits, while Freddie Freeman and Andrelton Simmons were both 1-for-3.
On the mound: Alex Wood worked six innings for the first time this spring. Toronto scored a pair against the Atlanta lefty in the bottom of the third on a two-run double by Jose Bautista. The other run came off the bat of Russell Martin, who collected an RBI-single in the fifth and made it a 3-1 game. In his fourth Grapefruit League start, Wood finished with a line of: 6 IP, 7H, 3ER, 1BB, 2K.
The Braves bullpen did its job over the final three innings. Craig Kimbrel (1-0) turned in the kind of outing one has come to expect, working a perfect seventh and striking out two. Brandon Cunniff followed him with a scoreless eighth, but Juan Jaime ran into trouble in the ninth. He allowed the first two men to reach and recorded just one out before being lifted in favor of lefty Brady Feigl. After allowing an immediate single, Feigl induced a game-ending double play to earn his second save.
Of note: The Braves have tentatively set the order of the starting rotation to start the regular season reports David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal Constitution. Julio Teheran was officially named the opening day starter on Friday, but following him will be Alex Wood, Shelby Miller and Wandy Rodriguez, with a fifth starter still to be determined according to Fredi Gonzalez… Eric Young Jr. now has six steals, second only to Marlins second baseman Dee Gordon… Pedro Ciriaco’s 14 RBI are tied with the Marlins Michael Morse for most in the Grapefruit League.
Up next: Braves vs. Pirates — Sunday, March 29 at 1:05 p.m.
RHP Shelby Miller vs. RHP Stolmy Pimentel
Grant McAuley covers the Braves for Sports Radio 92-9 The Game. Follow Grant on Twitter.