March 2015

Spring Training: Braves clipped by Marlins, 5-1 (2015)

The Atlanta Braves got a strong start from Wandy Rodriguez, but had some trouble with the leather in a 5-1 loss to the Miami Marlins on Friday night.

At the plate: The Braves got another crack at the Marlins on Friday, but weren’t able to muster much in the way offense against Dan Haren and four relievers. Eric Young Jr. seems to be locked in as Atlanta’s lead-off hitter to open the season. He was 1-for-3 with a walk.  The lone run of the night came courtesy of Chris Johnson, who provided an RBI-single in the fourth inning. Andrelton Simmons finished 1-for-3 and is batting .500 on the spring. Meanwhile, Jace Peterson was hitless, but drew a walk and stole a base.

On the mound: Wandy Rodriguez went to the mound with a glowing endorsement from Fredi Gonzalez, and he promptly rewarded his manager with five no-hit innings. Prior to the game, Gonzalez told David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that Rodriguez had likely done enough to earn one of the two vacant spots in the Braves rotation:

“It’s not make or break, really. This is a veteran guy, we brought him in to get one of these spots. Now all of a sudden two are available because [Mike] Minor is shut down for a little bit… So I think the chances of him making this club are really, really good. No matter whether he gives up 10 today or throws a one-hitter. Because you like what you’ve seen, you like what he’s done in the past, and so yeah, as far as today – just let him go out and pitch.”

Rodriguez final line: 5 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 7 K. Two of his strikeouts came at the expense of Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton, who went down looking the first and swinging in the fourth.

With Rodriguez done for the night, Luis Avilan was called on to face a pair lefty hitters. He retired Ichiro Suzuki, but allowed a single to Christian Yelich which sparked a Marlins’ rally. Williams Perez (0-1) came on, but didn’t get much help from the Atlanta defense as Miami scored three times in that sixth inning.  Young dropped a fly ball in left center which was generously scored a double for Stanton. Two batters later, Martin Prado hit a sinking liner that got under the glove of a diving Zoilo Almonte that highlighted scored two and put the Marlins ahead for good.

Of note: This is Atlanta’s only overnight trip of the Spring, as they suit up at Roger Dean Stadium again on Saturday to face the Cardinals… Former Braves right fielder Jason Heyward is likely to face his old team for the first time since being traded to St. Louis over the winter… Catcher Christian Bethancourt did not make the trip. He also missed Thursday’s game with flu-like symptoms. He remains day-to-day… Atlanta is having Julio Teheran and Alex Wood take their scheduled turns in minor league games, that also according to David O’Brien of the AJC. The idea behind it was to give both Wandy Rodriguez and Eric Stults a chance to pitch in big league action as they try to secure a spot (or spots) in the rotation. Teheran made his start on Friday and Wood is scheduled to throw on Saturday.

 

Up Next: Split Squad— Saturday, March 21.

Braves @ Cardinals at 1:05 PM

RHP Chien-Ming Wang vs. RHP Adam Wainwright

Braves vs. Nationals at 1:05 PM

LHP Eric Stults vs. RHP Jordan Zimmermann

 

 

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

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.

Spring Training: Braves fall to Yankees, 12-5 (2015)

The Braves bullpen was unable to stop the Yankees’ onslaught on Wednesday. Former Atlanta catcher Brian McCann collected two hits, including a two-run homer in New York’s 12-5 victory.

At the plate: The Braves got a three-run homer from Kelly Johnson that kick-started the offense in the bottom of the fifth, but the Yankees never really stopped piling up runs of their own. New York starter Masahiro Tanaka has now faced Atlanta in both of his spring starts. He followed up two perfect innings last time with 3-2/3 scoreless innings on Wednesday. The Braves had 10 hits on the night, which were oddly enough spread between 10 different batters. Alberto Callaspo and Joey Terdoslavich collected the other two RBI on the night. Second baseman Jace Peterson finished 1-for-4 and has now hit safely in nine of his 11 Grapefruit League games. Freddie Freeman had a hit in three trips and is batting .400 (10-for-25) with four doubles, two homers and seven RBI this spring.

On the mound: If there was one real positive to take away from this game, it would be that hard-throwing Mike Foltynewicz (0-2) had a much better outing in his third start of the spring. He tossed 2-2/3 innings and allowed just one run on three hits and a walk while striking out four men. After struggling through his first two appearances, Foltynewicz needed a solid performance to keep pace with veteran lefties Eric Stults and Wandy Rodriguez in the fifth starter’s race. With Mike Minor sidelined to start the season with shoulder problems, the door was cracked a little wider for the rookie right-hander to grab a spot in the rotation. Foltynewicz utilized a fastball that sat between 93-96 mph and hit 98 mph a few times in his 47 pitch outing. His curveball also seemed to be breaking nicely and the occasional changeup provided Yankee hitters with something else to contend with.

Conversely, it was a rough night for the Atlanta bullpen. Lefty James Russell took the brunt of it, allowing six earned runs on six hits and a walk in 1-2/3 innings of work. He was particularly ineffective against left-handed hitters, a trend that was problematic last season. Four of those six hits allowed were by lefty hitters, including two-run homers by McCann and Stephen Drew.

Arodys Vizcaino did not provide much in the way of relief, allowing an RBI-triple by Didi Gregorius to cap that six-run rally and then surrendering three more runs the following inning. Vizcaino was undone by command issues, including three consecutive walks and a balk which paved the way for New York’s three-run rally in the sixth inning. Jose Veras and Michael Kohn also allowed single runs. On the night, Atlanta relievers walked eight batters and six of those eventually came around to score.

Of note: Catcher A.J. Pierzynski was ejected from the game by home plate umpire Joe West in the top of the sixth inning… In regards to the fifth starter’s race, both Stults and Rodriguez can opt out of their minor league deals if they do not make the big club out of spring training. Left-hander Manny Banuelos, the former Yankees super-prospect who is two years removed from Tommy John surgery, is hoping to follow Foltynewicz’ example and make similar strides in his start against Miami on Thursday. Banuelos was rocked by the Mets (5 ER in 2/3 IP) in his last outing on March 13. Another name to keep in mind for that final rotation spot is 25-year-old righty Cody Martin. He has made two appearances thus far (one start) and worked five scoreless innings, allowing just one hit and three walks to go with six strikeouts.

Up Next: Braves vs. Marlins — Thursday, March 19, at 1:05 PM

LHP Manny Banuelos vs. RHP Tom Koehler

 

 

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

Spring Training: Braves rout Red Sox, 11-3 (2015)

The Atlanta Braves got four solid innings from Shelby Miller and plenty of offense up and down the lineup to beat the Boston Red Sox by an 11-3 score on Tuesday afternoon.

At the plate: Three-hit games from Andrelton Simmons and Christian Bethancourt highlighted Atlanta’s 13-hit attack.  After missing the first week’s worth of games with a strained oblique, Simmons has made up for lost time in a big way. His 3-for-4 day boosted his spring average to .563 (9-for-16) and also included three RBI and a run scored. Bethancourt has provided reason for optimism about what he may be able to provide at the plate in addition to behind it. He was 3-for-4 on the day as well, with a pair of RBI and a pair of runs scored and is now batting .360 in 26 Grapefruit League at-bats. Elsewhere in the lineup, Jace Peterson strengthened his case for the starting second base duties. He’s up to .360 on the spring after a day that included a double, a walk, a pair of runs scored and a stolen base. Center field hopeful Eric Young Jr. chipped in a three-run triple as part of a four-run sixth inning rally that blew the game open.

On the mound: Shelby Miller enjoyed his best start to date, spinning four scoreless innings. He had yet to make it out of the second in either of his two prior outings. The righty held Boston to four hits, issued two walks and struck out three batters. Out of the bullpen, the Red Sox plated single runs against Brandon Cunniff, Josh Outman and Sugar Ray Marimom, while Juan Jamie and Wes Parsons each tossed blank frames.

Of note: The Braves will see Yankees starter Masahiro Tanaka for the second time this spring as they host New York on Wednesday night. The righty tossed two perfect innings against Atlanta in his spring debut back on March 12. Tanaka opted to rehab his partially torn UCL rather than undergo the ligament replacement procedure commonly referred to as Tommy John surgery.

Up Next: Braves vs. Yankees — Wednesday, March 18, at 6:05 PM

RHP Mike Foltynewicz vs. RHP Masahiro Tanaka

 

 

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

Spring Training: Braves tie Astros 2-2, again (2015)

Just like the last meeting over in Kissimmee, the Atlanta Braves and split-squad Houston Astros ended in a 2-2 tie on Monday. However, this one was devoid of the combined no-hitter and did not require an extra frame to complete.

At the plate: The Braves staged a two-run rally in the top of the third inning in support of Alex Wood. The first of those runs came off the bat of John Buck, who belted his first home run of the spring against Houston starter Dallas Keuchel. With runners on the corners and one away, Freddie Freeman tied the game with a single that chased home Eury Perez to make it 2-2. Freeman finished with that single and a walk in his two trips to the plate. He’s batting .409 and has hit safely in eight of his 10 games this spring. Perez was 2-for-2 with a double, a walk, scored a run and was caught stealing once as well.

On the mound: Wood made his third Grapefruit League start and surrendered single runs in the first and second innings. Jose Altuve doubled to start the day for the Astros and eventually scored on a ground-out. An inning later, Wood issued a two-out walk to L.J. Hoes, who came around to score on a double by Gregorio Petit to make it 2-0. Atlanta tied things up in the top of the third and Wood closed out a four inning stint with a pair of scoreless frames. His final line: 4 IP, 3H, 2ER, 2BB, 4K.

Out of the bullpen, the Braves got scoreless innings from five relievers. Jose Veres, Donnie Veal, Michael Kohn, Arodys Vizcaino and Aaron Kurcz all made appearances.

Of note: The Braves made another round of roster cuts on Monday. Top prospect Jose Peraza was optioned to Triple-A Gwinnett where he will see time at second, short and center field. Right-hander Tyrell Jenkins was optioned to Double-A Mississippi, while Right-hander Mauricio Cabrera and left-hander Yean Carlos Gil were optioned to High=A Carolina.  Left-handed pitcher Brady Feigl and catcher Jose Yepez were reassigned to minor league camp. Atlanta has 47 active players in big league camp.

Up Next: Braves @ Red Sox — Tuesday, March 17, at 1:05 PM

RHP Shelby Miller vs. RHP Clay Buchholz

 

 

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

Spring Training: Braves fall to Blue Jays, 10-5 (2015)

The Toronto Blue Jays jumped on Julio Teheran early in a 10-5 win over the Atlanta Braves on Sunday.

At the plate: The Atlanta offense collected 11 hits on the day, with most of the run scoring coming in the middle innings. Freddie Freeman is putting together a nice spring. He singled and walked in three trips. A.J. Pierzynski went 2-for-4 as the designated hitter and was robbed of a third hit and an RBI on a diving play in shallow right center by Jays second baseman Ramon Santiago in the bottom of the first. Joey Terdoslavich continues to pile up extra-base hits. He’s got five already, including a three-run homer in the bottom of the seventh. Terdoslavich is batting .320 in 25 at-bats. Todd Cunningham and Pedro Ciriaco both turned in two-hit games, while Alberto Callaspo and Jonny Gomes each went 1-for-4.

On the mound: Julio Teheran had a rough day at the office. Jose Reyes doubled to open the game, advanced to third on a ground-out and then scored on Jose Bautista’s RBI-single. Teheran breezed through the second, but ran into more trouble in the third inning as Toronto hung a four-spot on the board.  The Jays struck for three more in the fourth, highlighted by Bautista’s two-run homer off Ryne Harper. Teheran’s final line: 3.1 IP, 9H, 7R, 6ER, 1BB, 2K.

Eric Stults worked four innings, allowing two runs – one earned – on five hits and a walk, with one strikeout. The Blue Jays scored single runs in the seventh and eighth innings off the veteran lefty, who certainly did not hurt his case for a spot in the rotation given the recent struggles of some other candidates. Jason Grilli worked a perfect ninth and struck out one batter.

What they said: Quotes from the Braves’ loss to the Blue Jays on Sunday.

Manager Fredi Gonzalez on Julio Teheran’s performance: “He’s not sharp yet. The breaking ball was kind of a little [off]. He got himself in some hitter’s counts, and those guys swing the bats pretty well. Overall he got all his pitches, his allotment of pitches, and we’ll get on to his next start and keep building on it.”

Starter Julio Teheran on his rough outing: “It wasn’t my best location. I wasn’t throwing the first pitch for a strike. That’s the most important thing as a pitcher and I wasn’t commanding it very well. I tried to battle and make pitches.”

Of note: Todd Cunningham had two hits, including an RBI-double, and gunned out a runner at the plate to end the Toronto third inning. Fredi Gonzalez said he’s impressed with both Cunningham and Joey Terdoslavich and plans to give them plenty of opportunities to earn a spot on the club… Former Braves outfielder Dwight Smith’s son, Dwight Jr., checked into the game for Toronto in the seventh inning and struck out against Grilli in the ninth.

Up Next: Braves @ Astros — Monday, March 16, at 1:05 PM

LHP Alex Wood vs. RHP Dallas Keuchel

 

 

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

Spring Training: Braves beat Astros, 6-5 (2015)

The Atlanta Braves broke out the bats early and then held on for a 6-5 win over the Houston Astros on Saturday. Andrelton Simmons and Christian Bethancourt each drove in three runs as Wandy Rodriguez provided four shut-out innings in his third start of the spring.

At the plate: The Braves didn’t wait around to get on the board against Collin McHugh (0-1). Three consecutive singles from Eric Young Jr., Jace Peterson and Simmons plated an immediate run in the first inning. Bethancourt provided a sacrifice to make it 2-0 advantage. That quartet was at it again in the third inning. Young singled and Peterson walked to set up Simmons for another run-scoring single. Bethancourt followed with a two-run double that pushed the lead to 5-0. Ahead 5-3 in the fifth inning, Simmons connected for his first home run of the spring. It capped a three-hit game with three RBI and a pair of runs scored for the Atlanta shortstop.

On the mound: Rodriguez (2-0) worked four scoreless innings and allowed just two hits, though he walked three to go along with a pair of strikeouts. The going was not as good for Chien-Ming Wang, who struck out the first batter he faced and then allowed six consecutive men to reach as the Astros put together a three-run rally. Lefty Brady Feigl came on to induce inning-ending double play, but labored through the sixth. Feigl allowed a solo-homer to Colby Rasmus and had to work out of a bases-loaded jam of his own to keep it a 6-4 game. Craig Kimbrel made just his second Grapefruit League appearance, working around a pair of two-out walks and a wild pitch to toss a scoreless seventh inning. Jim Johnson allowed a hit and a walk, but flashed a pretty good sinker to retire Houston in the eighth. Justin Jackson surrendered a home run to Brett Phillips in the ninth before closing out the 6-5 victory.

What they said: Quotes from the Braves following the win over the Astros.

Manager Fredi Gonzalez on catcher Christian Bethancourt: “Bethancourt continues swinging a nice bat, but that’s not what I’m really worried about or care about. I’d like for him to continue what he’s doing, and that is handing a major league pitching staff and taking that responsibility, and he’s doing that like he should.”

Shortstop Andrelton Simmons on getting over his strained oblique: “I did my work in the off-season. I got just enough swings. As soon as I was free to swing in the cages I took as many as I could without overdoing it, which I know how to do very well. But yeah, I got enough and [I’m] seeing the ball really well. Didn’t miss my pitches tonight.”

Of note: Former Braves catcher Evan Gattis faced his old team for the first time. Serving as the designated hitter, he struck out, popped out and collected an RBI-single before departing for a pinch-runner in the top of the fifth… Andrelton Simmons is 5-for-9 so far this spring…  Second baseman Jace Peterson left the game after fouling a ball off his leg in the second inning. Manager Fredi Gonzalez said it was a precautionary move. Peterson likely has “a pretty good bruise” according to Gonzalez. The team will monitor Peterson’s progress over the next couple of days.

Up Next: Braves vs. Blue Jays — Sunday, March 15, at 1:05 PM

RHP Julio Teheran vs. RHP Marco Estrada

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

Spring Training: Split squad Braves struggle again (2015)

The Braves haven’t had much luck in split squad games thus far this spring. Just like the first time, the Tigers and Mets got the best of Atlanta’s two groups. Detroit touched up Mike Foltynewicz for five runs in the first inning en route to a 12-2 win over Atlanta at Champion Stadium. Down in St. Lucie, the Mets likewise roughed up starter Manny Banuelos for five runs in their 13-2 victory over the Braves.

At the plate vs. Tigers: Atlanta’s offense was missing in action for much of the day, but started to wake up in the latter innings. Zoilo Almonte’s sacrifice fly got the Braves on the board in the seventh and was followed by an RBI-single from Cedric Hunter that made it a 6-2 game. Playing in his second game since returning from a strained oblique, Andrelton Simmons was the designated hitter and once again finished 1-for-3. Freddie Freeman had a hit and a walk in three trips to the plate. Chris Johnson was 1-for-3.

On the mound vs. Tigers: Mike Foltynewicz had a rough day in his second start, though a two-out error on Alberto Callaspo led to a bigger first inning for Detroit. In his second audition for the fifth starter’s spot, Foltynewicz battled with his command again. He surrendered three hits and walked a pair, including one with the bases loaded. With Foltynewicz out, Todd Coffey inherited a bases-loaded jam with two-outs. The veteran right allowed a two-run single that capped a five run frame. All five runs were charged to Foltynewicz, though just one was earned. For good measure, Detroit added one in the seventh, two in the eight and three more in the ninth. Lucas Sims retired just one of the six Tigers he faced in that ninth inning before giving way to Jake Brigham.

At the plate vs. Mets: The Braves didn’t exactly enjoy their time in St. Lucie either. Phil Gosselin started at short and finished 2-for-3 with an RBI. Otherwise, the highlights were few and far between. Jace Peterson and Eury Perez were each 1-for-3.

On the mound vs. Mets: Left-hander Manny Banuelos (0-2) allowed five runs – all earned – on three hits and two walks and was pulled with two outs in the first inning. Banuelos struck out one and uncorked a pair of wild pitches. After Luis Avilan allowed a pair of runs in the second, the Mets continued the barrage with four runs against Carlos Fisher in the third inning. Juan Jaime had a forgettable outing. In just 2/3 of an inning, he allowed a run on one hit,  four walks and a wild pitch. Arodys Vizcaino struck out three in 1-1/3 innings of work, but surrendered a run as well. Much of the damage was done by Mets shortstop Wilmer Flores, who finished his day 3-for-4 with three RBI and three runs scored.

Up Next: Braves vs. Astros — Saturday, March 14, at 6:05 PM

LHP Wandy Rodriguez vs. RHP Collin McHugh

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

Spring Training: Braves fall to Yankees, 3-2 (2015)

The Atlanta Braves traveled over to Tampa and suffered a 3-2 loss to the New York Yankees on Thursday night. Masahiro Tanaka made his Graprefruit league debut with two perfect innings and a pair of strikeouts. The right-hander chose to rehab his partially torn UCL rather than opting for Tommy John surgery.

At the plate: Runs were hard to come by, but Atlanta welcomed back Andrelton Simmons. He made his Grapefruit League debut after having it delayed due to a strained oblique. Simmons finished 1-for-3 with a single. Todd Cunningham got the Braves on the board with a game-tying, RBI-single in the top of the fifth inning. They’d take a 2-1 lead an inning later on Alberto Callaspo’s sacrifice fly. That came against former Atlanta reliever David Carpenter, who was traded to New York over the winter. As for the rest of the lineup, Freddie Freeman and Chris Johnson each went 0-for-3 with a pair of strikeouts. Christian Bethancourt had a double in two trips and is now batting .294 this spring.

On the mound: Shelby Miller’s second start of the spring was much smoother than the first. He allowed just one run on two hits and a walk while striking out two over three innings.  Josh Outman and Michael Kohn followed Miller with scoreless frames. New York got to Tyrell Jenkins (0-1) for a two-spot in the seventh to take the lead for good. Sugar Ray Marimon struck out the side in the bottom the eighth.

Of note: Fredi Gonzalez was ejected in the bottom of the first inning for arguing balls and strikes. Home plate umpire Dan Iassogna ran Gonzalez from the game after the first pitch from Miller was called a ball, though much of the Braves manager’s frustration may have revolved around the called third strike on Freeman that ended the top of the first… The Braves have their second of three split squad days on Friday… Atlanta will send Manny Banuelos to the mound for his first start of the spring. The former Yankee farmhand will face the Mets in Port St. Lucie, while Mike Foltynewicz makes his second start of the spring. It comes at Champion Stadium against the Tigers.

Up Next: Split Squad — Friday, March 13.

Braves vs. Tigers at 1:05 PM

RHP Mike Foltynewicz vs. RHP Shane Greene

Braves @ Mets at 1:10 PM

LHP Manny Banuelos vs. LHP Jon Niese

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

Spring Training: Braves fall to Cardinals, 6-2 (2015)

The Atlanta Braves staged a late rally, but came up short against the St. Louis Cardinals in a 6-2 loss on Wednesday afternoon.

At the plate: Atlanta was unable to get much done against Marco Gonzales (1-0) over the first four innings. The lefty starter tossed four innings of one-hit ball, with Freddie Freeman’s double serving as the only blemish. Three St. Louis relievers followed with scoreless innings before Atlanta finally dented the scoreboard. Joey Terdoslavich continued his solid spring with an RBI-single to plate Eric Young Jr. in the bottom of the eighth. Atlanta finished with just six hits on the day. Jace Peterson (1-for-3) and Jesus Flores (2-for-2) provided the other hits. Young started in center field again and went 1-for-4 with an RBI-double,  a walk and a run scored. The Braves made some noise in the bottom of ninth, using a mixture of hits, walks and an untimely error to plate a run and bring the tying run to the plate with two outs. Terdoslavich then grounded out with the bases loaded on the first offering from new pitcher Dean Kiekhefer to end the game.

On the mound: Alex Wood (0-1) ran into a little third inning trouble. An error on third baseman Chris Johnson gave the Cardinals a lead-off runner. Wood then issued consecutive walks, which were followed by a sac-fly from Matt Adams and an RBI-single from Yadier Molina. That signaled the end of the day for Wood, who went 2-2/3 innings, allowing those two unearned runs on three hits and two walks while striking out one. Aaron Kurcz came on to end the third inning with a strikeout. Jason Grilli and Luis Avilan provided scoreless innings in the fourth and fifth respectively, but Jim Johnson ran into trouble in the sixth. A two-out error by Chris Johnson helped fuel a three run inning against the big right-hander. Only one of three runs was earned.  After a perfect frame from Brady Feigl, St. Louis added an eighth inning run off Donnie Veal. Righty Justin Jackson tossed a scoreless ninth. On the day, four of the Cardinals runs were of the unearned variety.

Of note: Freddie Freeman is batting .429 with five extra-base hits in 14 at-bats this spring… Chris Johnson finished his day 0-for-3 with a strikeout and two errors. He had been out since March 5 with a sore left wrist… Shortstop Andrelton Simmons is slated to make his spring debut against the New York Yankees on Thursday night according to David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He had been held out of action with a strained oblique suffered late last month… Former Braves outfielder Jason Heyward did not make the trip to Champion Stadium with the Cardinals to face his former club on Wednesday… The Braves also announced they have signed right-hander Peter Moylan to a two-year minor league deal. It includes an invitation to spring training in 2016.  Moylan, 36, will continue to rehab from Tommy John surgery at the minor league complex before joining Rookie-level Danville as a player/coach later this summer.

Up Next: Braves @ Yankees — Thursday, March 12, at 7:05 PM

RHP Shelby Miller vs. RHP Masahiro Tanaka

 

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