Felix Hernandez made his debut as the Atlanta Braves scored a 5-0 win in their Grapefruit League opener against the Baltimore Orioles.
Hernandez got the start and looked good firing a pair of hitless innings with one walk and two strikeouts. There was no radar gun on the broadcast but Hernandez did an adequate job of spotting his fastball while mixing in his good changeup and breaking ball.
Atlanta struck for three runs in the first against Orioles right-hander Chandler Shepherd. After an infield single by Ronald Acuña Jr and two walks loaded the bases, Adam Duvall blooped a single into center to put Atlanta up 1-0. Dansby Swanson and Ender Inciarte followed with a pair of sacrifice flies to increase the lead to 3-0.
Atlanta tacked on another run in the third when Ozzie Albies came home on a double play grounder by Duvall. Drew Waters walked, went first to third on a grounder up the middle and scored on a sacrifice fly by Peter O’Brien to make it 5-0 in the fifth.
The Braves showed off more good pitching in relief of Hernandez. Chris Rusin allowed two hits but struck out three over two scoreless innings. Grant Dayton allowed two hits and a walk but escaped the bases loaded situation unscathed. Tucker Davidson struck out a batter over two scoreless innings in his spring debut.
Chad Sobotka came on in the eighth and walked a batter but struck out the side to keep Baltimore scoreless. Phil Pfeifer worked a scoreless ninth to close things out. Atlanta pitching allowed just four hits in the shutout.
Freddie Freeman saw his first action since offseason elbow surgery and went 1-for-1 with a walk in two plate appearances. Johan Camargo got the first start at third base and went 1-for-2. Atlanta banged out eight hits in the game.
Several of the Braves’ top prospects got into the game. Shea Langeliers singled in his first at-bat and finished 1-for-2 at the plate. Waters and Cristian Pache both went 0-for-1 with a walk.
Charlie Culberson also saw his first action since his 2019 season came to an end after he was hit in the face during a bunt attempt. Culberson replaced Swanson at shortstop and went 0-for-2 at the plate.
Atlanta will be back at it on Sunday when they host the Tigers. Bryse Wilson will get his first start of the spring and you can see it live at 1:05 p.m. on Fox Sports Southeast.