Split Braves squads take loss, tie

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ASTROS 7, BRAVES 4

KISSIMMEE, Fla. — Jarred Cosart pitched two shutout innings and Carlos Corporan had a pair of RBI to lead the Houston Astros past the Atlanta Braves 7-4 in a split squad game Sunday.

The Astros, who finished last season in last place in the American League West, went 51-111, their third straight year with 100 or more losses. The game marked the Astros spring home opener.

“I like what I’ve seen so far,” Astros manager Bo Porter said. “We are playing great defensively, and I like the way we are running the bases.”

Jordan Schafer had two more hits for the Braves to raise his spring average to .455. Scha­fer, who stole 22 bases in 94 games for the Braves last season, is fighting for one of the final outfield spots.

Atlanta starter David Hale pitched two innings and allowed two hits and an earned run while striking out three.

Hale, who had a 0.82 ERA in two starts last year for the Braves, is fighting for a slot at the end of the rotation. Julio Teheran, Kris Medlen, and Mike Minor should have spots already locked up, while Brandon Beachy and Alex Wood have the inside shot at the final two.

“If I throw my best, I think I have a shot,” Hale said.

Atlanta right fielder Justin Upton went 0-for-1 with a walk in his spring debut. He had been battling tenderness in his right side.

Braves center fielder B.J. Upton slammed a long double off the top of the left-center field wall. It was his first hit in six at-bats this spring.

Astros pitcher Chad Qualls, who pitched in 66 games with a 2.61 ERA for the Miami Marlins, made his spring debut but allowed three hits and two earned runs in one inning.

BRAVES 0, TIGERS 0 (10 INNINGS)

Detroit’s Anibal Sanchez allowed one hit in two scoreless innings in a game that ended in a 0-0, 10-inning tie.

Sanchez was the American League’s ERA leader last year, and he struck out 17 against Atlanta in an electrifying April outing. The Braves struck out only once this time in Sanchez’s abbreviated start.

Ryan Doumit doubled to lead off the Atlanta second and went to third on a groundout by Chris Johnson that nearly hit Sanchez. The Detroit right-hander shook off that close call, striking out Dan Uggla and getting Joey Terdoslavich on a groundout to end the inning.

“I don’t think too much about the situation right now,” Sanchez said. “If Doumit scores or not ... right now, I work more on my command.”

Atlanta left-hander Alex Wood, who is expected to compete for a job in the rotation, allowed three hits in two innings, striking out two.

Wood was helped by two double plays. Torii Hunter grounded into one in the first after Eze­quiel Carrera and Victor Martinez hit back-to-back singles. The Tigers also had runners at first and second with one out in the second when Bryan Holaday lined into a double play.

Detroit had seven hits to Atlanta’s six, but this game stayed scoreless in part because there were seven double plays. The Braves turned four of them.

A baserunning blunder ended an Atlanta rally in the sixth. Andrelton Simmons tried to go from first to third on Freddie Freeman’s single to right. The relay beat Simmons by about 25 feet for the final out of the inning.


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