Braves sweep split-squad games

Braves split squads top Mets, Blue Jays

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PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — David Ross hit a go-ahead, two-run double in a three-run eighth inning Saturday that led an Atlanta Braves’ split-squad over the New York Mets 3-2.

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Atlanta Braves pitcher Kris Medlen throws against the New York Mets in the second inning.  PATRICK SEMANSKY/ASSOCIATED PRESS
PATRICK SEMANSKY/ASSOCIATED PRESS
Atlanta Braves pitcher Kris Medlen throws against the New York Mets in the second inning.

Mets starter Jonathon Niese allowed six hits – all singles – in 5⅓ scoreless innings with three strikeouts and no walks. He threw 49 of 72 pitches for strikes and induced two double plays.

Atlanta starter Kris Medlen gave up one hit in four shutout innings, struck out four and walked one.

New York’s Daniel Murphy had two hits, including a two-run single in the sixth.

Martin Prado, Jason Heyward and Ross each had two hits for the Braves. Heyward also stole a base.

BRAVES (SS) 5, BLUE JAYS 3

In Kissimmee, Fla., Brandon Beachy allowed two hits while striking out six over four innings and Dan Uggla homered as Atlanta beat Toronto.

Uggla, who didn’t play Friday, connected with a man on in the sixth inning off Blue Jays prospect Deck McGuire and is batting .310 with four homers and nine RBI this spring.

The second baseman had been known as a notoriously poor spring hitter and his struggles carried over to the first half last season, his first year with the Braves. That’s why he brought a new mindset to camp this year.

“I want to be aggressive. I’m not just going up there with the idea of just watching pitches,” Uggla said. “I was too passive before. Now if I get a fastball, I’m attacking it. I changed my whole approach. I don’t know why it took me so many years to figure it out.”

Uggla began last season in a slump that lasted nearly three months. But he then put together a 33-game hitting streak and ended the year with a career-best 36 homers.

Beachy was 7-3 with a 3.68 ERA and ranked second among rookies in the majors last season with 169 strikeouts. But he had trouble making it past the sixth inning because of high pitch counts.

By throwing more strikes, Beachy hopes to work longer into games for the Braves this season, and his third spring outing was encouraging.

“It was definitely a step in the right direction,” the right-hander said. “I never let my control leave me.”

Beachy had walked five in his previous start and came in with a 9.00 ERA.

But he walked only one against Toronto.


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