PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — Atlanta Braves pitcher Kris Medlen left in the fourth inning with a strained forearm, and the New York Mets went on to beat Atlanta 8-2 on Sunday.
While facing Matt Clark with two outs, Medlen threw an off-speed pitch, grabbed his right elbow and turned his back to home plate. He then removed himself from the game.
Medlen, picked to start on Opening Day, was examined by Mets physician Dr. Struan Coleman and diagnosed with a right forearm strain pending an evaluation back at the Braves’ complex today.
Medlen was 15-12 last year with a 3.11 ERA in 197 innings for the Braves. The 28-year-old right-hander had Tommy John surgery in 2010.
“Obviously, any time a pitcher walks off the mound and meets you at the foul line, you worry about that stuff,” Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. “But after everything kind of settled down, we’re optimistic it’s nothing really major.”
Gonzalez said he talked to Medlen briefly during the pitching change and again inside the clubhouse afterward.
“He wasn’t in good spirits. But after he got settled down a little bit and the trainers looked at him, I thought he was in better spirits,” Gonzalez said.
Medlen did not speak with reporters but relayed a message that he will be available Tuesday in Orlando.
Braves catcher Evan Gattis said Medlen had good stuff through three innings.
“He was executing pitches, and the next thing you know– I don’t know what he grabbed – but I knew it was his arm. It’s never a good sign, never a good feeling, to be out there and see a pitcher walk off the mound like that,” Gattis said. “On the last pitch, he just threw a yanked changeup – I’ve never seen that – and immediately there was a problem. ... He was throwing good pitches, and then it was just an out-of-the-blue kind of thing.”
The Mets scored seven unearned runs in the eighth inning to break open a tie game and secure the win.
NATIONALS: As he warmed up in the bullpen for his second spring training start, Stephen Strasburg felt strong. Perhaps a little too strong.
The right-hander overcame a shaky first inning and offense came up big again in an 11-1 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals on Sunday.
Strasburg walked two and gave up an RBI single to his first three batters before settling down. He went three innings, allowing two hits while throwing 28 of 48 pitches for strikes.
“I got some good work in,” Strasburg said. “I felt too good in the bullpen and then went out there and tried to paint the first pitch on (the black) instead of starting out with a little bit bigger zone and then working off the middle of the plate.
“I made a good adjustment and then I didn’t see any problems.”
GIANTS: Former Augusta GreenJacket Madison Bumgarner pitched four innings of one-hit ball on Sunday, and a split squad of San Francisco Giants won 8-0 against a group of the organization’s top prospects.
Bumgarner, who is slated to start on opening day, struck out five and walked two. The 24-year-old left-hander also had a run-scoring single to cap a five-run first inning.
Right-hander Kyle Crick, another former GreenJacket, had a rough outing for the Future Stars. He recorded just two outs and was charged with five runs and one hit. He also walked four and struck out one.
MARLINS: Giancarlo Stanton hit his first home run of spring training in a 3-1 loss to the Tigers.