The Braves and Tampa Bay Rays played to a 2-2 tie on a Friday afternoon in Orlando, with Jason Hursh blowing the lead in the ninth and the Braves unable to come back for the victory.
The real story in the low-scoring affair is likely Jhoulys Chacin's start, where he allowed three hits and three walks in four and two-thirds innings to the opposition. Chacin allowed just one run but didn't make it out of the fifth, with the Braves inserting Kyle Kinman for him after he allowed his run and then a two-out single to Brad Miller. It wasn't a sterling effort from Chacin as he allowed more walks than strikeouts, but it seems fairly probable that he'll get a rotation spot to begin the season. It's still a little disappointing, as Chacin was facing a travel-side-of-a-split-squad lineup full of guys with weird names like "Jaff" and "Dayron Varona" (I am not making this up).
Overall, it was another fairly sleepy affair, as is to be expected for a late Spring Training game. The Braves scored their runs for the day entirely on the basis of a two-out rally consisting of four singles. Specifically, Adonis Garcia, Nick Markakis, Jeff Francoeur, and Tyler Flowers hit two grounders sandwiching two liners to score the two runs. Gordon Beckham then flew out to Varona (still not making him up) to end the threat. The Braves were incredibly quiet aside from that, with Garcia also hitting a double for the team's extra-base hit, and recent (excellent) acquisition Drew Stubbs reaching base on errors twice.
The Rays used just two pitchers whom I've never heard of before in the affair: AAA journeyman Adam Wilk allowed just those two runs to the Braves in four frames, and then Jaime
Lannister Schultz (yes, this is the second time this spring I've made this joke, deal with it, Jaime is a funny name) who has never pitched above AA shut down the Braves for five frames afterwards, allowing just three hits and a walk while striking out four.
The bullpen pitched fairly well in this one aside from the Hursh implosion at the end, with Kinman, Alexi Ogando, Daniel Winkler, and Jim Johnson getting 10 outs without allowing a run and yielding just two hits and a walk. Jim Johnson struck out two in his scoreless inning, Daniel Winkler continued to rupture the space-time continuum by maintaining his K/BB ratio at [divide by zero error] while adding a strikeout.
Jason Hursh blew the game by allowing a single to Mike Marjama (his nickname HAS to be Marjamana, right?!) a single to Varona, and a single to Johnny Field (name is the polar opposite of the other two guys in how quotidian it is). There was a Jace Peterson throwing error at third on the play that allowed the run to score, so it's not all necessarily Hursh's "fault." Hursh would then retire Juniel Querecuto (okay, can we just trade organizations with the Rays? They have all the best names.) and Daniel Robertson before Hunter Cervenka was called on to retire Kyle "Holy" Roller to staunch the threat. The Braves got a two-out single from Emerson Landoni in the ninth but nothing else to end the game.
The Braves play their last (!) Spring Training game of 2016 tomorrow, with Williams Perez squaring off against Jordan Zimmermann of the Tigers.