Spring Training: Braves clocked by Phillies, 9-2 (2015)

The Philadelphia Phillies belted four home runs in a 9-2 win over the Atlanta Braves on Wednesday.

At the plate: There weren’t many highlights for the Braves offense. Outfielder Joe Benson is making a late push for a reserve spot and strengthened his case with an opposite field, solo home run off Cole Hamels in the second inning. Atlanta tallied two runs on six hits against Hamels (1-1) over the first six innings and had no luck against the Philadelphia bullpen. The only other Braves run came in the top of the fifth when Pedro Ciriaco scored on a passed ball. Ciriaco finished 1-for-3, while Chris Johnson and Jace Peterson were each 1-for-4 on the day. Todd Cunningham is also battling for a spot on the bench and finished 1-for-3 with a walk.

On the mound: Julio Teheran (2-2) struggled through his final start of the spring. The Phillies touched him up for seven earned runs, including four home runs, over four innings of work. Chase Utley hit two of those homers, belting a three-run shot in the first inning and a solo-shot in the third. Teheran allowed those seven runs on eight hits and no walks, while striking out four. Juan Jaime followed with two frames of scoreless baseball, but Aaron Kurcz was charged with two unearned runs in 1-1/3 innings thanks to some shaky Atlanta defense. John Cornely recorded the final two outs in the eighth inning.

Of note: The Braves added a left-hander to the mix on Wednesday, claiming Andrew McKirahan off waivers from the Miami Marlins. McKirahan, 25, was a Rule 5 selection from the Cubs in the December, which means the Braves would have to carry him on the 25-man roster for the duration of the season or offer him back to Chicago for $25,000. The lefty underwent Tommy John surgery in 2012, but was back on the mound in the second half of 2013 and put together a strong 2014 between High-A and Double-A for the Cubs. He turned in a 2.04 ERA in 65 innings with 57 strikeouts against 14 walks last season… It turns out that move may have larger implications. MLB.com’s Mark Bowman reported that lefty Josh Outman flew back to Atlanta to have his ailing shoulder examined. He had not been particularly effective this spring and experienced pain following his appearance on Saturday. This recent development means there is a strong possibility that Outman begins the season on the disabled list. Bowman also provided some spring numbers for McKirahan when it comes to dealing with left-handed hitters:

Up next: Braves vs. Orioles — Thursday,  April 2 at 6:05 p.m.

LHP Alex Wood vs. LHP Wei-Yin Chen

 

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

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