Heyward, Upton heating up for Braves



KISSIMMEE, Fla. — Jason Heyward went 3 for 3, Justin Upton drove in three runs with a single and a double, and an Atlanta Braves split squad tied the Miami Marlins 6-6 on Saturday in a game stopped after nine innings.

Heyward, who hit his second homer of the spring Friday against Boston, has hits in five consecutive at-bats, raising his average to .348.

“I’m taking it day to day, but it’s going good,” the right fielder said. “You want to get your swing as soon as possible.”

Upton came into the game batting just .167, but drove in Heyward with a first-inning double and plated him again on a two-run single in the fourth.

“My timing and swing were good,” said the left fielder, who also hit the ball hard in his other at-bat. “It was something to definitely build on.”

Casey McGehee homered and Rob Brantley had a three-run double and a single for the Marlins.

“The home run was nice obviously, but I was more happy with the approach and my swing,” said McGehee, who played in Japan last year. “Results are secondary right now.”



In Viera, Fla., Ryan Zimmerman and Adam LaRoche homered to lead Washington over Atlanta in a split-squad game.

Ross Detwiler, the leading candidate for the No. 5 spot in Washington’s rotation, gave up one run and six hits in two-plus innings. The left-hander, who has relied mainly on his two-seam and four-seam fastball throughout his career, was pleased with the location on his curveball, even if none of the Braves hitters swung.

Being able to mix up his pitches more will be a plus for Detwiler once the season starts, but right now he is trying to gain more confidence in his off-speed stuff and get into more of a rhythm throwing those pitches in big moments.

Taylor Jordan, another fifth-starter candidate, followed with three strong innings and struck out six.

Andrelton Simmons had two hits for Atlanta.


Wed, 08/23/2017 - 01:54