Spring Training Report for March 16
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Braves beat Yankees, 4-0 behind Maholm
What stood out: Why not begin with the starting pitching performance? Lefty Paul Maholm did a great job of mixing his pitches and keeping the Yankees bats off-balance. He tossed six blank frames, allowing just two hits and a walk while striking out four batters. Given, this was nothing resembling the Yankees usual lineup. Still, Maholm (3-1) was incredibly efficient with his pitches, throwing 49 of 66 for strikes. He also ran his scoreless inning streak to 14 2/3 in the winning effort.
Juan Francisco homered for the second straight day, and there was no doubt about his two-run shot in Atlanta’s three-run, fifth inning rally. It bounced off the video board in right center field to put the exclamation point on the day offensively speaking. He had a pair of hits and received some praise from manager Fredi Gonzalez for some fine glove work at third base.
Justin Upton had two hits, drove in a run and scored another, while B.J. Upton had a rare hitless game and finished 0-for-4. It was a good for Jason Heyward, who had an RBI-single, a run scored and a pair of walks. Evan Gattis started behind the plate, but was also without a hit in three at-bats. He was also the recipient of praise from his manager for the way he called the game with Maholm.
News and notes: Closer Craig Kimbrel reported back to camp following Team USA’s loss to Puerto Rico in the World Baseball Classic in Miami on Friday. He spoke highly of the experience overall, and just wished the team could avoided elimination. Kimbrel made four appearances in the WBC, allowing two runs (both in the loss to the Dominican Republic) in 3 2/3 innings… Righty J.R. Graham threw two scoreless innings to close out Saturday’s win, but was reassigned to minor league camp following the game. Graham, 23, has tossed nine shut-out innings in five relief appearances for Atlanta, but will begin stretching out as a starter on the minor league side.
Up next: The Braves will be on the road Sunday in Port St. Lucie to take on the Mets at 1:05 p.m. Righty Julio Teheran will make the start against Mets lefty Jon Niese.