KISSIMMEE, Fla. — Atlanta Braves starter Brandon Beachy turned out to be a dependable five inning pitcher last season.
In his rookie year, he started 25 games and went 7-3, but he chalked up only 141⅔ innings. He became known for hitting the wall around the sixth inning and turning it over to the Braves stellar bullpen.
Entering his fifth year of professional baseball, all in the Braves organization, Beachy has never thrown a complete game.
After the Braves tied the New York Yankees, 5-5, in 10 innings Wednesday, he said he is working on pitching longer and said he wants to start completing games.
“I am ready to start going deep because that’s what they need from me,” Beachy said after going six innings, allowing six hits and two earned runs. “I am trying to get ahead of the batters. I feel like I can go the distance even (today) if I had to.”
Beachy said something clicked after his third inning against the Yankees.
“I’ve been going through all spring like it was a long bullpen session, then everything started to come together. I got ahead and I am ready to go now. I learned a lot today.”
“I want him throwing about 100 pitches, but they have to go farther than six innings,” manager Fredi Gonzalez said. “He gets his pitch count up, but we are going to prod him. The most important thing is to get him past the ‘shot down innings’ where we start to think about making a change.”
Jason Heyward boosted his spring batting average to .205 with long homer in the ninth among his two hits.