Braves wrap up spring with 5-3 win over Orioles (2015)
The Atlanta Braves finished off the Grapefruit League slate with with a 5-3 win over the Baltimore Orioles on Saturday.
At the plate: The Braves lineup had a productive final day at Champion Stadium. Freddie Freeman belted a solo-homer in the bottom of the first to put Atlanta on top. He finished the spring batting .339 with three home runs and 11 RBI. Infielder Alberto Callaspo went 2-for-2 and closed out his spring by hitting .327 and scoring eight runs over the final 14 games. Pedro Ciriaco strengthened his bid for a spot on the bench with yet another good day, going 1-for-2 with RBI and a walk. He batted .373 with 15 RBI this spring, both team-leading totals. Despite getting a late start on his spring due to December neck surgery, right fielder Nick Markakis saw time in eight big league games and got some extra at-bats on the minor league side. He should be good to go on opening day in Miami.
On the mound: After being named the team’s fourth starter on Friday, left-hander Eric Stults got one final spring tune-up. He was sharp once again, tossing five innings of one-run ball. Stults will take his first turn in the rotation in Friday’s home opener against the New York Mets. Out of the bullpen, lefty Andrew McKirahan followed with a scoreless sixth inning. Mike Foltynewicz, who was in the running for the fifth starter’s job all spring, gave up an unearned in the seventh thanks to a pair of errors, one of which charged to him on a pickoff gone bad. Jason Grilli tossed a clean eighth inning, but Craig Kimbrel surrendered a solo-homer to Chris Parmalee in the ninth. Both of those men recorded a pair of strikeouts in their final outings.
Of note: The Braves have not completely narrowed down their 25-man roster to open the regular season. Outfielders Todd Cunningham and Joe Benson were both sent to Triple-A Gwinnett, which opened the door for infielder Pedro Ciriaco to claim the final bench spot after a strong spring showing. On the pitching side, Mike Foltynewicz was optioned to Gwinnett as well. He will anchor the starting rotation there. Both Juan Jaime and Cody Martin are expected to secure spots in the Atlanta bullpen barring any further transactions.
Up next: Braves @ Marlins — Monday, April 6 at 4:05 p.m.
RHP Julio Teheran vs. RHP Henderson Alvarez
Grant McAuley covers the Braves for Sports Radio 92-9 The Game. Follow Grant on Twitter.