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Thursday, March 05, 2009

After Slow Start, Braves Take Care Of Venezuela

After falling behind Venezuela early, the Braves played a see-saw game with their opponents before prevailing 8-4.

Braves starter Derek Lowe didn't allow a hit in three innings, but he had two wild pitches and allowed a run. Jeff Francoeur put the Braves on top with a two-run shot, his first homer of the spring. In the sixth, Jeff Ridgway allowed a two-run single to Miguel Cabrera and an RBI single to Magglio Ordonez. Emiliano Fruto bailed him out and pitched another scoreless inning. Eric O'Flaherty, Stephen Marek, Rafael Cruz and Anthony Lerew all had scoreless innings.

Venezuela's Jan Granado, whose last American baseball experience came with the Anderson (S. C.) Joes of the now-defunct South Coast League, pitched two scoreless innings to start the game, allowing just two walks. Victor Zambrano pitched a scoreless inning and Francisco Rodriguez struck out the side in his inning of work.

The Braves regained the lead with a five-run ninth, highlighted by a bases-loaded double from first baseman Barbaro Canizares. The Braves turned three double plays in the game.

W - Emiliano Fruto
L - Victor Moreno
HR - Jeff Francoeur

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