LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – It’s only spring training and their Grapefruit League record will be forgotten once the Braves pack up and leave Florida. But given their rough start and recent pitching injuries, stringing together some wins and solid perfermances has been good for morale.
Freddie Freeman and Evan Gattis each homered to lead the Braves in a pair of split-squad wins Wednesday against the Nationals at Champion Stadium and the Marlins at Jupiter, Fla. The Braves have a four-game winning streak after winning just two of their first 14 games.
In the 3-2 win against the Nationals, Freeman’s two-run, two-out homer in the second inning off minor leaguer Chris Young gave the Braves a 2-1 lead, and starter Alex Wood allowed four hits, one walk and one unearned run in four innings, with two strikeouts. It was the first homer of the spring for Freeman, who is batting .414 (12-for-29) with only three strikeouts. Infield prospect Elmer Reyes had the game-ending RBI single.
In the 3-1 win at Jupiter, Gattis’ first homer of spring training came against right-hander Henderson Alvarez for a 1-0 lead in the fourth inning. Former Nationals right-hander Yunesky Maya, a Braves non-roster invitee, pitched three scoreless innings of three-hit ball with no walks and no strikeouts.
Etc. The Braves will start Freddy Garcia against Cardinals right-hander Lance Lynn on Thursday at Jupiter, and rookie David Hale against Rays right-hander Chris Archer on Friday at Champion Stadium.