Braves conclude Spring Training with 9-3 loss to Tigers


Mar 25, 2014; Lakeland, FL, USA; Detroit Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera (24) singles during the fifth inning against the Atlanta Braves at Joker Marchant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Atlanta Braves are just about ready to head north for the start of the regular season, but there was one final matter to conclude Spring Training on Thursday, and that was a game against Miguel Cabrera and the Detroit Tigers. For 4-plus innings in Lakeland, Florida, things were looking good for the road team, but after Miguel Cabrera blasted a 3-run home run in the bottom of the 5th, Detroit was able to run away with a 9-3 decision over Atlanta.

Aaron Harang’s debut in a Braves uniform headlined the day, and until the Cabrera blast in the 5th, he pitched fairly well. However, the wheels came off a bit as Harang continued after that blemish, and despite achieving 3 outs in the 6th inning (Austin Jackson reached on a wild pitch strikeout), he allowed 2 additional runs after a Jordan Schafer error and a double by old friend Alex Gonzalez. On the whole, Harang wasn’t a disaster, but I’m sure that Braves Country would have preferred a better finishing line than one that included 6 earned runs.

At the plate, the Braves were highlighted by home runs from two of their four 25-man roster outfielders. Sandwiched around a Gerald Laird strikeout in the top of the 5th, both Jordan Schafer and B.J. Upton (!!!) took Max Scherzer over the wall for solo shots, and in the case of BJ, power flashes are exceedingly encouraging. Overall, there wasn’t a “breakout” offensive day from anyone on the Braves roster, but getting out of Lakeland without a significant injury was the name of the game on Thursday, and the Braves accomplished that feat.

Now, the team is ready to trek toward Atlanta, but they won’t be there for long, as the Braves open their regular season slate on the road this season with a 2:10 pm first pitch against the Milwaukee Brewers on Monday. Stay tuned.