3/12/2014 3:50 P.M. ET
Freeman homers early in Atlanta's walk-off win
By Mark Bowman / MLB.com
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Elmer Reyes' one-out, ninth-inning single off Robert Benincasa allowed the Braves to celebrate a 3-2 walk-off win over the Nationals on Wednesday afternoon at Champion Stadium.
Joe Leonard opened the bottom of the ninth with a single and then stole second base. That set the stage for Reyes to lace his game-winning hit down the left-field line.
Freddie Freeman's two-run home run off Chris Young in the third inning gave the Braves a lead they preserved until the Nationals pushed a run across in the eighth inning against Shae Simmons. Jeff Kobernus opened the eighth with a single and then scored on Caleb Ramsey's game-tying, one-out single.
Atlanta starter Alex Wood surrendered four hits and allowed one unearned run while throwing 63 pitches over four innings. The Braves left-hander admitted that he attacked Jayson Werth, Bryce Harper, Adam LaRoche and some of Washington's other regulars differently than he will during the regular season.
Wood encountered first-inning trouble when he hit Danny Espinosa with a pitch and then watched Reyes commit a throwing error when Werth followed with an infield single. Harper lined out with runners on the corners and one out. But the Nationals dented the scoreboard when Espinosa scored on a wild pitch.
Nationals starter Chris Young recorded three strikeouts and surrendered three hits over three innings. The only runs he allowed came when Freeman drilled his first home run of the spring through the rectangular camera well that sits above the center-field wall.
Up next: The Braves will send Freddy Garcia to the mound to face the Cardinals on Thursday at 1:05 p.m. ET in Jupiter. Garcia will be attempting to complete four innings and bounce back from the rough outing he experienced against the Marlins on Saturday while his wife was in labor. After working five perfect innings in his first two Grapefruit League season starts, Garcia allowed the Marlins six earned runs in just 2 2/3 innings. Still, with Kris Medlen, Brandon Beachy and Mike Minor all likely to begin the season on the disabled list, Garcia seems to be a lock for a rotation spot.
Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.