A potential Gwinnett Braves utilityman has been perhaps the hottest hitters for the Atlanta Braves in Spring Training camp for the past week, and he helped lead the Braves Saturday to a 5-3 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays.
Pedro Ciriaco went 2-for-4 and drove in two runs in the sixth inning to tie the game at three runs apiece while spending time defensively in center and left field during the contest in Dunedin, Fla. He has hit safely in six of his last seven games while batting .526 (10-for-19) with a pair of runs scored, a double, a triple, 10 RBI and a stolen base. Among qualifiers, Ciriaco leads the team with a .380 batting average (19-for-50) for the spring.
The Braves dropped their second game of the weekend 4-2 Sunday to the Pittsburgh Pirates at Champion Stadium in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.
Other possible G-Braves position players’ stats from Saturday against Toronto:
Sean Kazmar (3B), 1-for-2, R.
Seth Loman (1B), 0-for-2.
Joe Benson (LF-CF), 0-for-1, R, BB.
Jesus Flores (C), 0-for-1.
Cedric Hunter entered the game in the eighth inning as a defensive replacement in left field but did not receive an at-bat.
A pair of possible G-Braves right-handed relievers also combined to throw 1 1/3 scoreless innings against the Blue Jays. Brandon Cunniff (H, 2) breezed through the eighth inning with nothing more than a walk allowed. Juan Jaime (H, 4) retired one batter but also gave up a hit and a walk in the ninth.
The Braves played most of their expected starters at their home Spring Training complex against the Pirates. Right fielder Todd Cunningham and left fielder Benson were the only two players likely to man the outfield for Gwinnett to get an at-bat. Cunningham walked and scored in the eighth, and Benson flew out to center field in the following at-bat.
Right-handed pitcher Michael Kohn (L, 1-1) was the only possible G-Braves pitcher to take the mound against Pittsburgh. He pitched the ninth but gave up the deciding two runs on two hits, including a two-run homer by second baseman Jong Ho Kang, with one strikeout.
Atlanta reassigned Kohn to minor league camp Monday and optioned fellow right-handed reliever Arodys Vizcaino to Gwinnett. Those moves leave the Braves with 36 active players in Major League camp.
The Braves will travel to face the Detroit Tigers for the fifth and final time this spring at 1:05 p.m. Monday in Lakeland, Fla. The teams have split their first four meetings, two of which were split-squad contests for Atlanta.
A pair of possible Gwinnett Braves infielders led the Atlanta Braves to a 4-2, seven-inning win Friday over the Boston Red Sox at Champion Stadium in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.
Shortstop Pedro Ciriaco drove in Atlanta’s first three runs with a two-out double in the second inning after he singled the previous inning as the Braves’ first hitter of a game shortened because of rain. Ciriaco finished the game 2-for-4 with a strikeout. He is hitting .370 (17-for-46) in Spring Training and is tied for the team lead in runs batted in with 15.
Kelly Johnson, who is in competition for one of the final spots on the Braves’ Opening Day roster, tacked on Atlanta’s final run with a solo home run in the sixth inning. Johnson entered the game as a defensive replacement at third base in the top half of the inning and played the seventh at first base.
Meanwhile, Phil Gosselin, who led the 2014 G-Braves with a .344 batting average (130-for-378), went 2-for-3 with a run scored. He started the game in center field and moved to third base in the seventh.
Potential G-Braves outfielders Mycal Jones and Jose Constanza came in as defensive replacements in the seventh inning at center field and left field, respectively. Neither received an at-bat.
The Braves used only two pitchers in the game. Possible G-Braves right-handed reliever John Cornely (S, 2) got the final out of the sixth inning and retired both batters he faced in the seventh before the umpires halted play because of rain.
Former G-Braves right-handed pitcher and Atlanta’s Opening Day starter Julio Teheran (W, 2-1) pitched the first 5 2/3 innings with three strikeouts. He also walked four batters and gave up five hits, including a two-run home run by center fielder Mookie Betts in the fourth inning.
Atlanta also announced Friday it has optioned left-handed pitcher Manny Banuelos, right-handed pitcher Williams Perez and outfielder Eury Perez to Gwinnett to begin the season, which leaves the Braves with 40 active players in their Spring Training camp.
The Braves will travel to face the Toronto Blue Jays at 1:07 p.m. Saturday in Dunedin, Fla., before they return to their home complex to take on the Pittsburgh Pirates at 1:05 p.m. Sunday at Champion Stadium. Atlanta lost to the Blue Jays 10-5 March 15 at Champion Stadium and beat the Pirates 7-5 Thursday in Bradenton, Fla.
Potential Gwinnett Braves right-handed pitcher Aaron Kurcz threw only one pitch Thursday but got his first win of Spring Training.
Kurcz (1-1) got Pittsburgh Pirates catcher Francisco Cervelli to ground out to end the eighth inning with runners on first and third base and the game tied 5-5. The Atlanta Braves struck for two runs, including a run-scoring groundout by possible G-Braves catcher Jesus Flores, in the ninth inning and held on for a 7-5 victory in Bradenton, Fla.
Possible G-Braves infielder/outfielder Kelly Johnson also drove in one of the Braves’ five first-inning runs with a groundout that drove in third baseman Alberto Callaspo.
Flores finished the game 1-for-2, while Johnson ended the game 1-for-4.
Other potential Gwinnett position players’ stats from Thursday against Pittsburgh:
Pedro Ciriaco (SS), 0-for-1, K.
Phil Gosselin (2B), 0-for-1.
Also, catcher John Buck, who could have played for Gwinnett if he did not make Atlanta’s Major League roster out of Spring Training, announced his retirement Thursday after an 11-year Major League career with seven different teams. He had signed with the Braves as a minor league free agent Jan. 26 and was a non-roster invitee to Atlanta’s Major League Spring Training camp.
The Braves will return to their home Spring Training complex to take on the Boston Red Sox at 1:05 p.m. Friday at Champion Stadium in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. Atlanta beat the Red Sox 11-3 March 17 in their only other 2015 Grapefruit League meeting.
Possible Gwinnett Braves right-handed starter, and Atlanta Braves starting rotation candidate, Mike Foltynewicz took the mound Tuesday for the Braves against the Philadelphia Phillies.
Foltynewicz recorded four of his first six outs via strikeout, but the Phillies also tagged him for three runs on four hits and two walks in 2 2/3 innings. Atlanta rallied to tie the game at three in the seventh inning but ultimately fell 5-3 at Champion Stadium in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.
Foltynewicz had been scheduled to start Monday against the Houston Astros in Kissimmee, Fla., but the Braves pushed him back a day because of the possibility of rain. He is 0-2 with a 7.06 ERA (6 ER in 7.2 IP) and is tied for second on the club with 10 strikeouts in four Spring Training starts.
Other possible G-Braves pitchers’ stats from Tuesday vs. Philadelphia:
LHP Manny Banuelos, 3.0 IP, 4 H, BB, 2 K.
RHP Arodys Vizcaino (L, 0-2), 1.0 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, BB, K.
RHP Cody Martin, 1.0 IP, K.
Infielder Pedro Ciriaco continued his torrid pace offensively with singles in both of his at-bats against the Phillies while playing third base. He scored on a seventh-inning home run by shortstop Andrelton Simmons and stole his first base of Spring Training when he swiped second in the eighth. Ciriaco is 6-for-10 in his last four games, and his 13 hits, overall, are tied for the team lead.
Other potential G-Braves position players stats from Tuesday against the Phillies:
Kelly Johnson (1B), 1-for-2, R.
John Buck (C), 0-for-2.
Todd Cunningham (RF), 0-for-1, K.
Eury Perez (pinch hit), 0-for-1, K.
The Braves have their final off day of Spring Training on Wednesday. They will resume play with a contest against the Pittsburgh Pirates at 1:05 p.m. Thursday in Bradenton, Fla.
Potential Gwinnett Braves infielder Pedro Ciriaco added to his recent hot streak Monday, as the Atlanta Braves outlasted the Houston Astros 14-10 in Kissimmee, Fla.
Ciriaco entered the game as a pinch runner in the fourth inning for shortstop Andrelton Simmons after Simmons was hit by a pitch. Ciriaco tripled in his first at-bat of the game in the fifth inning to drive in two runners and scored when left fielder Eury Perez hit a ground-rule double to right field.
Ciriaco grounded out in his only other at-bat and is now 4-for-8 in his last three games with five runs batted in. His 12 hits and seven RBI both rank second on the team.
Other possible G-Braves position players’ stats from Monday against Houston:
Perez (LF), 1-for-4, 2B, 2 RBI, BB, throwing error in the fourth inning.
John Buck (DH), 1-for-2, 2B, R, RBI, BB.
Jesus Flores (C), 0-for-5, K.
Phil Gosselin (3B), 1-for-2, fielding error in sixth inning.
Jose Constanza (CF), 0-for-1.
Jace Peterson (2B), 0-for-0, BB.
The Braves scratched scheduled right-handed starter Mike Foltynewicz, who could be part of the 2015 Gwinnett rotation, because of possible wet field conditions. Instead, seven relievers, including five who could fill the G-Braves’ bullpen, combined to cover the game.
Possible G-Braves pitchers’ stats Monday vs. the Astros:
RHP Michael Kohn (W, 1-0), 1.0 IP, 2 BB, K.
RHP Juan Jaime (H,3), 1.0 IP, H, BB, 2 K.
RHP Todd Coffey, 1.0 IP, 3 H, 2 ER.
RHP John Cornely, 1.0 IP, BB.
RHP Aaron Kurcz, 1.0 IP, BB, K.
The Braves also reassigned right-handed pitcher Sugar Ray Marimon, left-handed pitcher Donnie Veal and catcher Braeden Schlehuber to Minor League camp Monday.
Atlanta returns to its home Spring Training complex to face the Philadelphia Phillies at 1:05 p.m. Tuesday at Champion Stadium in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.
A parade of pitchers who could man the mound at Coolray Field in 2015 helped lead the Atlanta Braves to a weekend of four games in which they allowed an average of fewer than three runs per contest. The Braves split the weekend slate and are 8-12 in Grapefruit League play.
Six of seven potential Gwinnett Braves relievers who worked Saturday and Sunday did not allow a run. All seven combined for a 1.08 ERA (1 ER in 8.1 IP) with two saves and two holds. Right-hander Williams Perez (BS, 1; L, 0-1) was the only likely G-Brave pitcher to work Friday. He gave up the final four runs on seven hits, two walks and three strikeouts in a 5-1 loss to the Miami Marlins in Jupiter, Fla.
Atlanta played a pair of split-squad games Saturday. One Braves squad beat the Washington Nationals 5-2 in a home contest at Champion Stadium in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., and the other portion of the team lost 1-0 to the St. Louis Cardinals in Jupiter.
Possible G-Braves pitchers’ stats vs. Washington:
RHP Michael Kohn (H, 2), 1.0 IP, H, BB.
RHP Juan Jaime (H, 2), 1.0 IP.
RHP Brandon Cunniff (S, 1), 2.0 IP, 2 BB, 2 K.
Potential G-Braves pitchers’ numbers against St. Louis:
RHP Arodys Vizcaino,1.1 IP, H, BB.
RHP Sugar Ray Marimon, 2.0 IP, 2 H, HBP.
RHP Aaron Kurcz (L, 0-1) 0.0 IP, 2 H, ER, BB.
Left-handed reliever Donnie Veal was the only potential G-Braves hurler to pitch Sunday in a 5-3 win over the Detroit Tigers at Champion Stadium. He got his first save of Spring Training with a scoreless ninth inning during which he walked a hitter and struck out two others.
Infielder Pedro Ciriaco led possible G-Braves hitters by going 3-for-6 in two starts, including 2-for-3 against Detroit with three runs batted in. He also picked up a single and a walk as the leadoff hitter and starting shortstop vs. the Nationals.
Potential G-Braves position players’ stats from Friday against Miami:
Eury Perez (CF), 1-for-4, K.
Jesus Flores (C), 1-for-4.
Phil Gosselin (3B), 1-for-2.
Jace Peterson (2B), 0-for-3, BB, K.
John Buck (1B), 0-for-1.
Joey Terdoslavich (pinch hit), 0-for-1, K.
Infielder Sean Kazmar took over at shortstop in the eighth inning but did not receive an at-bat.
Other possible G-Braves position players’ lines Saturday against the Nationals:
Todd Cunningham (CF), 2-for-4, 2B, RBI, K, outfield assist in the third inning on a play when Mike Carp was out trying to reach second base.
Jose Constanza (RF-LF), 1-for-3, R, SB.
Seth Loman (1B), 0-for-4, K.
Cedric Hunter (RF), 1-for-1, R, RBI.
Barrett Kleinknecht (3B), 0-for-1.
Corban Joseph (2B), 0-for-1.
Catcher Steve Rodriguez entered the game as a defensive replacement in the eighth inning but did not receive an at-bat.
Potential G-Braves position players’ stats vs. St. Louis:
Peterson (2B), 2-for-3, K.
Buck (C-1B), 2-for-3.
Gosselin (LF-3B-1B), 0-for-4, K.
Terdoslavich (RF-1B), 0-for-2, BB.
Joe Benson (LF-CF), 0-for-1, BB, threw out Rafael Ortega at home plate from center field in the sixth inning.
Braeden Schlehuber (C), 0-for-1.
Perez (pinch hit), 0-for-1, K.
Kazmar (SS), 0-for-1.
Other possible G-Braves position players’ stats against Detroit:
Perez (RF-CF), 1-for-5, K.
Cunningham (CF), 1-for-3, R, SB.
Constanza (LF), 1-for-1, R, SB.
Gosselin (2B), 0-for-1, RBI, BB, K.
Benson (LF-CF-RF), 0-for-1, BB, K.
Joseph (2B), 0-for-1.
Schlehuber (C), 0-for-1.
Loman (1B), 0-for-1.
Hunter (pinch hit), 0-for-1.
Flores entered the game at catcher as a defensive replacement in the ninth inning but did not receive an at-bat.
The Braves will face the Houston Astros at 1:05 p.m. Monday in Kissimmee, Fla.
Left-handed starter Manny Banuelos and right-hander Cody Martin, a pair who could pitch for the Gwinnett Braves in 2015, combined Thursday to hold the Miami Marlins to one run through five innings.
The strong performances from the two candidates for spots on the Atlanta Braves’ pitching staff allowed the club to build a lead and beat Miami 6-3 at Champion Stadium in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.
Banuelos gave up one run on three hits with no walks and a strikeout in two innings. Martin (W, 1-0) came in relief and pitched three scoreless innings with three hits allowed and a walk to go with one strikeout.
Other possible G-Braves pitchers’ stats Thursday vs. Miami:
LHP Donnie Veal (H, 1), 1.0 IP.
RHP Aaron Kurcz (H, 1), 1.0 IP, H, BB, K.
RHP John Cornely (S, 1), 1.0 IP.
The Braves also had 14 different position players receive at least one at-bat. First baseman Joey Terdoslavich, who won the 2014 G-Braves’ “Fan Favorite Player” award, drove in the final run of the game with a double to right-center field in the eighth.
He finished 1-for-2 with a strikeout after replacing first baseman Freddie Freeman in the sixth inning. Terdoslavich ranks second on the team with five doubles and is tied for third with six runs batted in.
Other potential G-Braves position players’ stats from Thursday against the Marlins:
Phil Gosselin (SS-3B), 1-for-4, R, K.
Jace Peterson (2B), 1-for-1, R, fielding error in the ninth inning.
Pedro Ciriaco (SS), 0-for-2, K.
Braeden Schlehuber (C), 0-for-1, K.
Todd Cunningham (LF), 0-for-0, HBP.
The Braves and Marlins will face each other again at 7:05 p.m. Friday, but this time the game will be at the Marlins’ home Spring Training complex in Jupiter, Fla.
Right-handed starting pitcher Mike Foltynewicz made his his third and longest start of Spring Training on Wednesday vs. the New York Yankees. He is a contender for an Atlanta Braves’ rotation spot but could also start the season with the Gwinnett Braves,
Foltynewicz (L, 0-2) held New York in check, allowing a run on three hits and a walk with four strikeouts through 2 2/3 innings. The Yankees then went to work on the Atlanta bullpen to build toward a 12-5 victory over the Braves at Champion Stadium in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.
New York scored 11 runs in the next five innings against five Braves relievers, although seven of the runs came against left-hander James Russell and righty Jose Veras, pitchers who are likely to remain on Atlanta’s roster to begin the season rather than move to Gwinnett.
Potential G-Braves relievers’ stats from Wednesday vs. the Yankees:
RHP Arodys Vizcaino, 1.1 IP, H, 3 ER, 3 BB, K.
RHP Michael Kohn, 1.0 IP, H, ER, 2 BB, K, WP.
RHP Justin Jackson, 1.0 IP, H, BB.
RHP Jake Brigham, 0.1 IP.
Possible G-Braves position players’ stats from Wednesday:
Eury Perez (CF), 1-for-5, 3 K.
Jace Peterson (2B), 1-for-4, K.
Jesus Flores (C), 0-for-3, R, 2 K.
Phil Gosselin (SS), 1-for-2.
Sean Kazmar (2B), 0-for-1.
Joey Terdoslavich (1B), 0-for-1, RBI, K, sacrifice fly in seventh inning.
Todd Cunningham (LF), 0-for-0, BB.
Pedro Ciriaco (3B), 0-for-1.
Right fielder Mycal Jones entered the game in the ninth inning as a defensive replacement but did not receive an at-bat.
Left-handed starter Manny Banuelos will get his second start at 1:05 p.m. Thursday against the Miami Marlins at Champion Stadium as he vies for a Braves rotation spot. Miami plans to send right-hander Tom Koehler to the mound.
Former Gwinnett Braves catcher Christian Bethancourt exploded for three hits, including two doubles, with two runs scored and two driven in Tuesday against the Boston Red Sox in Fort Myers, Fla.
And he did all that in the first five innings.
Bethancourt finished 3-for-4 to help lead the Atlanta Braves’ offense to its most prolific performance of Spring Training. The Braves pounded out 13 hits and defeated Boston 11-3.
Potential 2015 G-Braves Jace Peterson, Kelly Johnson and Joey Terdoslavich also doubled and scored a combined four runs with three RBI. Peterson also stole his first base of the spring with a swipe of second in the fifth inning. He advanced to third as the throw from Red Sox catcher Blake Swihart went into center field and scored on a base hit to left field by Bethancourt.
Possible G-Braves position players’ stats from Tuesday:
Peterson (2B), 1-for-3, 2B, 2 R, BB, 2 K, SB.
Johnson (1B-3B), 1-for-3, 2B, R, RBI, K.
Terdoslavich (LF-1B), 1-for-4, 2B, R, RBI, K.
Todd Cunningham (RF), 1-for-3, R, K.
Pedro Ciriaco (2B-3B), 1-for-1, RBI.
Jose Constanza (LF), 0-for-2, K.
Braeden Schlehuber (C), 0-for-1.
Joe Benson (CF), 0-for-1.
John Buck (DH, pinch hit), 0-for-1.
Phil Gosselin (SS), 0-for-0, BB, fielding error in the eighth inning.
Meanwhile, a trio of pitchers who could appear for the G-Braves this season were part of the relief corps that finished the game after starter Shelby Miller (W, 1-1) held the Red Sox scoreless through four innings.
RHP Brandon Cunniff, 1.0 IP, 3 H, ER.
RHP Juan Jaime (H, 2), 1.0 IP, BB, K.
RHP Sugar Ray Marimon, 1.0 IP, H, ER, BB.
Atlanta will return to their home Spring Training facilities to play the New York Yankees at 6:05 p.m. Wednesday at Champion Stadium in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.
Possible 2015 Gwinnett Braves catcher John Buck and outfielder Eury Perez provided all of the offense Monday for the Atlanta Braves in a game against the Houston Astros that ended in a 2-2 tie in Kissimmee, Fla. The two teams also played to a 2-2 tie March 8 in Kissimmee.
Buck, a non-roster invitee the Braves (4-9-2) signed to a minor league contract in the offseason, smashed his first home run of Spring Training to lead off the inning and cut Houston’s lead to 2-1.
Perez followed with a double to right field, and the center fielder scored the tying run later in the inning on a single by first baseman Freddie Freeman. Perez also led off the fifth with a double, although he was thrown out trying to steal third base, and started the seventh with a walk. Buck finished the game 1-for-3 with a strikeout.
Other potential G-Braves position players’ stats from Monday:
Jace Peterson (2B), 0-for-4, 2 K.
Kelly Johnson (3B), 0-for-1, BB.
Phil Gosselin (SS), 0-for-1.
Joey Terdoslavich (1B), 0-for-1.
Jesus Flores (C), 0-for-1.
Left fielder Todd Cunningham and second baseman Pedro Ciriaco both entered the game as defensive replacements in the seventh inning but did not receive an at-bat.
A parade of five potential G-Braves relievers pitched the final five innings without giving up a run. Each threw exactly one frame, and four of the five did not allow more than one batter to reach base.
RHP Jose Veras, 1.0 IP, BB, WP.
LHP Donnie Veal, 1.0 IP, BB, K.
RHP Michael Kohn, 1.0 IP, H, BB, K.
RHP Arodys Vizcaino, 1.0 IP, H, K.
RHP Aaron Kurcz, 1.0 IP, H, K.
At the midway point of the Braves’ Grapefruit League schedule, Ciriaco, Peterson and Terdoslavich are tied with Freeman for the team lead in hits with eight. Peterson’s .421 batting average (8-for-19) is also the second-highest on the team among players with a minimum of 10 at-bats, behind only catcher A.J. Pierzynski’s .467 mark (7-for-15).
On the pitching side, right-handers Cody Martin and Sugar Ray Marimon are the only Braves’ hurlers with at least four innings pitched who have yet to allow a run. Fellow righties Kohn (3.1 IP) and Brandon Cunniff (3.0 IP) are also pitchers who could be slated to spend time in Gwinnett and have not given up a run.
The Braves will play their second straight away game when they face the Boston Red Sox at 1:05 p.m. Tuesday in Fort Myers, Fla.