LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Joey Terdoslavich homered in the sixth inning and added an eighth-inning, two-run single that gave the Braves some breathing room as they completed a 6-1 win over the Rays on Friday afternoon at Champion Stadium.
Terdoslavich gave the Braves their first lead when he opened the bottom of the sixth against Steve Geltz with a solo shot that sailed deep over the right-center-field wall. After notching his first home run of the year, the versatile switch hitter improved his bid for an Opening Day roster spot by hitting his eighth-inning single to center field.
Ernesto Mejia added to Rays right-hander Sam Runion's eighth-inning struggles with a two-run home run that landed just beyond the left-center-field wall.
The Rays received a strong start from Chris Archer, who notched six strikeouts and allowed one run in 4 2/3 innings. Archer's most costly mistake came when he issued his only walk of the afternoon to Jordan Schafer with two outs in the fifth. Schafer stole second base and scored when Jason Heyward followed with an opposite-field, game-tying single.
David Hale gave the Braves more reason to be confident in the enhanced role he has gained since Kris Medlen and Brandon Beachy both suffered potentially season-ending elbow injuries this week. Hale was perfect in three of the four innings he completed against the Rays.
The Rays got to Hale in the third inning, when B.J. Upton allowed Jose Molina's fly ball to fall in front of him in shallow center field. Molina then recorded a rare stolen base when Braves catcher Gerald Laird double-pumped -- he seemingly thought ball four had been called during Cole Figueroa's plate appearance -- before throwing to second base. Ray Olmedo plated Molina with a single.
Cardinals Are Up next: Jason Heyward will attempt to extend his recent success when the Braves host the Cardinals on Saturday at 1:05 p.m. ET. Heyward has batted .353 with a team-leading three home runs this spring season, providing more reason to believe he has distanced himself from any fear that might have developed after he was hit in the face by a pitch in August
The Braves will start Gus Schlosser, whose trajectory may have been altered by the injuries to Medlen and Beachy. Instead of beginning the season in the Braves' bullpen, he'll likely be with Triple-A Gwinnett, getting stretched out for a possible rotation spot in the big leagues.
------- Source: MLB.com
Jose Molina steals second base.
- Photo2 by Tim Evearitt