Atlanta Braves Net Win Over Fish on Todd Cunningham Day
Mar 11, 2015; Lake Buena Vista, FL, USA; Atlanta Braves center fielderTodd Cunningham
(26) runs to first base during the second inning of a spring training baseball game against the St. Louis Cardinals at Champion Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports
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Hits were plentiful (25), though runs not so much (8) on Friday night in Miami, but the Braves managed to push ahead three times and held off Miami by a count of 5-3 at Marlins Park.
The real story though, was newly called up Todd Cunningham. 3 hits in 4 trips, 2 runs scored, plus he knocked in the final go-ahead run in the 8th inning. Oh, and there was the stolen base on the back end of a double-steal. Clearly, he came in with the idea that he’d like to stick around for a while. Have yourself a night!
This was Cunningham’s first major league contest since 2013, a year in which he saw action in just 8 games and received 8 ABs, getting 2 hits. He just exceeded that in his first 2015 game, inserted into the 6th spot in the order in place of the injured Kelly Johnson.
It’s hard to evaluate Julio Teheran‘s evening. Through the first couple of innings, you would have to think “uh, oh – here we go again.” But like Alex Wood did last week, Teheran battled – nearly making it through the 6th inning.
Overall, he gave up 9 hits, but only 1 walk (despite home plate umpire C.B. Bucknor), and gave up just 2 runs – 1 earned on the first of two Giancarlo Stanton blasts. But Teheran looked better in the 4th and 5th, plus almost got out of the 6th by getting 2 hitters quickly. An Ichiro single (hardly a sin to give that up) ended his night.
The bullpen performed well in relief of Teheran, combining to give up 1 earned run on a titantic shot by Stanton, but just 2 other hits total with 1 walk. Luis Avilan, Brandon Cunniff, Cody Martin, Jim Johnson and Jason Grilli (10th save) all saw mound-time.
The Braves were 4-19 with runners in scoring position. Not great, but in this case quantity bested quality.
In addition to Cunningham, Philip Gosselin also had 3 hits on the night, though much of the run-scoring damage was caused by Julio Teheran himself: a 9-pitch AB was worked into a single into Center Field that plated 2 runs after it looked like the Marlins were going to escape a bases-loaded 1 out jam in the second inning. That and Cunningham’s play seemed to set the tone for the night: a relentless club that continued to fight.
Heck, maybe hitting is the remedy for a poor pitching start: After all, Alex Wood went 3-3 in that Nationals game last Sunday where he gave up 3 runs in the first inning. Tonight, Teheran launches the offense and is able to rally from a weak start as well.
The win keeps Atlanta Spotless in South Florida: 4 for 4 so far in Marlins Park. We’ll re-rank it again tomorrow evening as Wood pitches against Mat Latos. It’s a 1:00 pm start time.