3/8/2014 4:46 P.M. ET
Braves strong at the plate; Garcia's control off
Heyward, J-Up contribute with bats in split-squad action against visiting Marlins
By Mark Bowman / MLB.com
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Braves non-roster infielder Tyler Greene lined into a double play to end the ninth inning of Saturday's game against the Marlins. Both teams agreed to end the game with it tied at 6.
Braves starting pitcher Freddy Garcia was nowhere near as sharp as he had been in his perfect first two starts of the Grapefruit League season. Garcia allowed four hits in Miami's two-run second inning and then walked four of the first six batters he faced in a four-run third that was capped by Rob Brantly's three-run double off the right-center-field wall.
Casey McGehee got the Marlins rolling when he lined a 2-0 fastball over the left-center-field wall to begin the second, which was fueled by the three consecutive two-out singles recorded by Ed Lucas, Brantly and Donovan Solano.
Garcia's outing did not strengthen his bid to begin this season in Atlanta's rotation or bullpen. But his mind might have been elsewhere. After throwing 71 pitches in 2 2/3 innings, he exited the ballpark to drive to Miami to be with his pregnant wife, who was in labor.
While Marlins starting pitcher Jacob Turner also struggled through his 2 1/3 innings, he was slightly more fortunate than Garcia. Turner surrendered four of his seven hits during a two-run first inning that included Justin Upton sneaking an opposite-field RBI double down the right-field line.
Jason Heyward singled in each of his three at-bats and Upton added a two-run single in the fourth inning to cap his productive afternoon. Tommy La Stella cut Atlanta's deficit to one run with a two-out single in the seventh and Joey Terdoslavich added a game-tying, two-out single in the eighth.
Up next: Kris Medlen and Craig Kimbrel are both scheduled to pitch when the Braves travel to Port St. Lucie, Fla., to play the Mets on Sunday at 1:10 p.m. ET (live on MLB.TV). Medlen will aim to go four innings in another tuneup for what is expected to be his first Opening Day start. B.J. Upton, Evan Gattis and Andrelton Simmons are all expected to be a part of an Atlanta lineup that will get a look at Mets starter Zack Wheeler.
Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.