Injury forces Braves' Brandon Beachy to leave outing early

CLEARWATER, Fla. — Brandon Beachy became the second consecutive Atlanta starting pitcher to leave early because of an arm problem, exiting the Braves’ 8-1 win over the Philadelphia Phillies on Monday because of tightness around his right elbow.


After pitching two innings instead of a scheduled four, Beachy sounded optimistic.

“I’m not worried about it at all,” he said. “I’ve seen the doctors and they’ve done everything. My ligament is fine. I’ve got some inflammation in there and it got a little too tight in my bicep. It was just a little unproductive to keep pushing it.”

Beachy, 27, gave up two hits and two walks in a scoreless outing.

“I didn’t come in here feeling 100 percent,” he said. “This is something I’ve been dealing with. It had been getting easier the harder I threw and the harder I pushed. Today it just got a little tight on me.”

He has been limited to 18 starts the past two seasons while battling elbow ailments.

On Sunday, projected Opening Day starter Kris Medlen grabbed his right elbow and walked off in the middle of the fourth against the Mets.

The Braves later said he had a strained right forearm and would undergo further tests.

Jason Heyward homered on Cliff Lee’s second pitch of the game, his third homer this spring.

Atlanta’s Dan Uggla hit his first home run. Freddie Freeman. Chris Johnson and B.J. Upton each had two hits.

STARTING TIME: Lee served up a home run to Heyward to begin his third outing of the spring, but was mostly encouraged with his start. He allowed two runs on three hits while striking out five and walking one in 3⅔ innings.

“Throwing strikes is the name of the game,” said Lee, who hadn’t walked a batter in five innings before this start. “I had one walk and I’m not real happy about that. For the most part I was throwing strikes and working ahead and making them swing the bat.”

ITCHING FOR PITCHING: Even before Beachy left early, Atlanta manager Fredi Gonzalez was praising the organization’s pitching depth.

“Thank God we signed Freddy Garcia this winter,” Gonzalez said. “Everyone has injuries. The (teams) that can survive those injuries, or can hang in there, they’re going to be in there at the end. Last year we lost (Tim) Hudson with that freak play at first base and our young kids stepped up.”

TRAINER’S ROOM: Left-hander Cole Hamels is set to throw a side bullpen session Wednesday. It will be the first time he will take the mound in 11 days.

Hamels was previously scheduled to throw to hitters for the first time in a live batting practice session last Thursday, but decided not to after feeling fatigued. Hamels entered camp behind schedule after dealing with biceps tendinitis in November.