David Hale gives Braves pitching hope in win over Rays

Medlen, Beachy may need Tommy John surgery

Associated PressMarch 14, 2014 

Rays Braves Spring Baseball

Atlanta Braves starting pitcher David Hale throws a warmup pitch before the first inning of a spring exhibition baseball game against the Tampa Bay Rays in Kissimmee, Fla., Friday, March 14, 2014. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

CARLOS OSORIO — AP

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla, -- David Hale provided a bright spot for the Atlanta Braves' beleaguered rotation, allowing one run in four innings while striking out three to lead the Braves past the Tampa Bay Rays, 6-1, on Friday.

With Braves starters Brandon Beachy and Kris Medlen possibly facing Tommy John surgery and Mike Minor sidelined and possibly out for opening day, Hale pitched impressively. He was 1-0 with a 0.82 ERA in two starts for Atlanta last season.

Hale entered the spring hoping for a shot at one of the final spots in the rotation if a starter went down. Julio Teheran and Alex Wood are the only two remaining of the five that entered camp as the leading candidates. The Braves signed free agent Ervin Santana to a $14 million deal on Wednesday, but the lack of depth is still a concern for Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez, who said that Hale's effort came at the right time.

"(Hale) threw some good stuff today," Gonzalez said. "(Catcher Gerald) Laird said the same thing. He looked good for us."

Chris Archer went 4 2-3 innings in his longest stint of the spring for Tampa Bay, allowing a run while striking out six and lowering his spring ERA to 0.90.

Joey Terdoslavich and Ernesto Mejia homered for Atlanta.

Hale was thrilled after his effort. He lowered his spring ERA to 4.50.

"It was unbelievable," Hale said. "This really gives me confidence. I just want the opportunity. Of course I am confident. My sinker is working and it gives me the confidence I need."

Shortstop Andrelton Simmons has had a sore knee. He played five innings on Friday and will rest on Saturday.

Joey Terdoslavich, who batted .215 in 55 games for the Braves last year, had a homer, went 2 for 2 with three RBIs. His average is only .154, but Gonzalez is still excited about his prospects. He can play outfield and first base.

"Turdo is swinging the bat really well," Gonzalez said. "He's looking like he's finally starting to come around. He's starting to look like he did when he came up last year."

RHP Gus Schlosser will start for the Braves on Saturday against the St. Louis Cardinals. He was looking to earn a spot in the Braves' bullpen but may be a candidate to join the team after some work as a starter at Triple A Gwinnett. Joe Kelly will start for the Cardinals.

Trimming the roster

The Braves have reduced their spring roster by sending 14 players to the minor leagues.

The team announced Friday that right-handed pitcher Aaron Northcraft has been optioned to Triple-A Gwinnett.

Also reassigned to the minor league camp: left-handed pitcher Daniel Rodriguez; right-handed pitchers J.R. Graham, Jason Hursh, Mark Lamm, Cody Martin and Yunesky Maya; catchers Matt Kennelly, Braeden Schlehuber and Jose Yepez; infielders Mark Hamilton and Edward Salcedo; and outfielder Matt Lipka have been.

The Braves have 49 players in their big league camp.

Braves 6, Rays 1 Tampa Bay Atlanta ab r h bi ab r h bi Jennings cf 3 0 1 0 Heyward rf 3 0 1 1 Carter cf-rf 1 0 0 0 La Stella 2b 0 1 0 0 Nix 3b 3 0 0 0 B.Upton cf 3 0 1 0 Shaffer 3b 1 0 1 0 Greene 3b 0 1 0 0 Joyce lf 1 0 0 0 F.Freeman 1b 2 0 0 0 Querec. 2b 2 0 0 0 Terdoslavich 1b 2 2 2 3 Myers rf 3 0 0 0 Doumit dh 3 0 0 0 Rodriguez c 1 0 0 0 E.Mejia ph-dh 1 1 1 2 J.Moore dh 4 0 0 0 C.Johnson 3b 3 0 2 0 Sands 1b 3 0 0 0 Constanza lf 1 0 1 0 J.Malm 1b 0 0 0 0 Uggla 2b 2 0 0 0 J.Molina c 2 1 1 0 Cunningham rf 1 0 0 0 Guyer cf 1 0 0 0 Simmons ss 2 0 0 0 Figueroa 2b 2 0 1 0 E.Reyes ss 2 0 1 0 Motter ss 1 0 0 0 Laird c 3 0 0 0 Olmedo ss 1 0 1 1 Bethancourt c 1 0 0 0 Christian lf 1 0 0 0 J.Schafer lf-cf 2 1 0 0 Totals 30 1 5 1 Totals 31 6 9 6 Tampa Bay 001 000 000—1 Atlanta 000 011 04x—6 DP—Tampa Bay 1, Atlanta 1. LOB—Tampa Bay 4, Atlanta 5. 2B—C.Johnson (5). 3B—R.Shaffer (1). HR—Terdoslavich (1), E.Mejia (1). SB—J.Molina (1), J.Schafer (2). CS—B.Upton (1). IP H R ER BB SO Tampa Bay Archer 42/3 4 1 1 1 6 Geltz L,0-1 12/3 1 1 1 0 3 S.Garrido 2/3 0 0 0 0 0 S.Runion 2/3 4 4 4 1 0 J.Thompson 1/3 0 0 0 0 0 Atlanta Hale 4 3 1 1 1 3 Kimbrel 1 1 0 0 1 0 Avilan W,1-0 1 0 0 0 0 0 C.Perez 1 0 0 0 0 0 W.Obispo 1 0 0 0 0 0 L.Batista 1 1 0 0 0 2 HBP—by Archer (Uggla), by S.Runion (Greene). WP—Archer. Balk—S.Runion. Umpires—Home, Angel Campos; First, Jerry Layne; Second, Jeff Nelson; Third, Ed Hickox. T—2:47. A—9,786 (9,500).

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