Braves-Astros: Atlanta Rallies to Drop Houston
For a while it looked like the Braves were going to start the Spring season 0-2 after falling behind 7-2 against the Houston Astros Thursday afternoon.
However, the Braves scored four runs in the seventh and two more in the eighth to win their first game of 2009.
Jorge Campillo got off to a rocky start, yielding three runs, five hits, and two walks in only two innings of work.
Tommy Hanson, the future ace of the Braves, also was a bit rocky in his first spring appearance. He gave up two runs in two innings of work. He gave up two hits and one walk while striking out two.
Mike Gonzalez didn't pitch well in his first appearance this spring. He managed to last only two-thirds of an inning and gave up two runs on two hits and one walk.
After Vladimir Nunez retired the final batter of the fifth, Jeff Bennett and Boone Logan each threw a scoreless frame.
James Parr picked up the win for the Braves while holding the Astros scoreless in the eighth and ninth innings. He allowed only one hit and also struck out a batter in a good first outing.
David Ross showed the power that the Braves will have coming off the bench by hitting a two-run HR off of Astros ace Roy Oswalt in the second inning. Ross also caught Darin Erstad when he attempted to steal second base in the first inning.
Ross' eventual replacement in the game was JC Boscan, who drove in the winning run in the bottom of the eighth inning with a double that followed a Jason Heyward walk.
Although a number of Braves were held hitless in multiple ABs (Jordan Schafer, Chipper Jones, Kelly Johnson, Martin Prado, Casey Kotchman, and Omar Infante), some young hitters stepped up in the rally that led the Braves to victory.
Brandon Jones finished with two hits, one run, and one RBI in four trips to the plate, and Gregor Blanco had an RBI single.
Freddie Freeman hit a game-tying HR in the eighth inning, meaning that he has picked up three RBI in the Braves' first two Spring Training games.
Matt Diaz and Jeff Francoeur also picked up their first hits of the spring with a single each.
Overall the Braves had a great comeback win led by some young players, many of whom will not be on the club when the opening day roster is announced. Although Hanson and Gonzalez struggled, they both should regain form by the time they make their next appearances.
The Braves (1-1) will travel to play the Pittsburgh Pirates (2-0) tomorrow at 1:05.
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