Braves Drop Spring Opener to Tigers

Brett KettyleCorrespondent IFebruary 25, 2009

The Braves played their first Spring Training game today against the Detroit Tigers in Lakeland, Florida, and dropped the contest 5-4.

They fell behind early, came back to tie it up, then saw pitcher Juan Perez give up the game-winning run in the eighth inning.

The Tigers got to Jair Jurrjens early, and he struggled through two innings, giving up 4 H, 2 ER and 1 BB while not striking out any.

With the Tigers sporting a 2-0 lead, Jo-Jo Reyes came into the game for the Braves and surrendered 1 ER and 3 H in his 2 IP, though he struck out two batters.

Behind 3-0, the Braves came roaring back in the fifth, and their three-run rally was capped by Freddie Freeman's two-out, two-RBI single. Brian McCann also had a sac fly during the inning.

Manny Acosta held the Tigers scoreless in the fifth, and Stephen Marek pitched a perfect sixth, allowing no baserunners and striking out one.

In the top of the seventh, Jordan Schafer homered to give the Braves their first lead of the game, but it was short-lived, as Eric O'Flaherty gave up a run on 2 H and 1 BB in the bottom of the inning.

The Braves failed to score in the eighth, and then Juan Perez allowed a run to score on a hit and two walks.

The Braves went quietly in the ninth against Kyle Bloom, who struck out two and earned the save.



  • W - Fu-Te Ni (DET) (1-0)
  • L - Juan Perez (ATL) (0-1)
  • S - Kyle Bloom (DET) (1)
  • Ramon Santiago (DET): 2-2, RBI, R
  • Gerald Laird (DET): 2-3, 2B, 3B, 2 R
  • Freddie Freeman (ATL): 1-2, 2 RBI
  • Jordan Schafer (ATL): 1-4, HR, RBI, 2 R, SB


A couple of youngsters played well for the Braves, and although it was only one game, Schafer and Marek may have already helped their chances of landing a spot on the regular-season roster with their strong opening performances.

The Braves' next game is tomorrow, Feb. 26, against the Houston Astros. The game will be on ESPN at 1:05 p.m.