JUPITER, Fla. — Kris Medlen gave the Braves a scare when Casey Kotchman’s line drive hit him in the back of his pitching arm in the fifth inning Wednesday against the Marlins, only the second hit against him but also the second that struck him.
He left the game after the two-out single, but said there was only minor tightness in his triceps where the ball hit him.
“It feels fine,” said Medlen, who had only been scheduled to pitch five innings in his fourth start. “Just a precaution.”
The other hit against him was Rob Brantley’s single that caromed off the toe of Medlen’s left shoe in the fourth inning, doing no damage.
It was a strong performance for Medlen, who had three strikeouts with no walks and threw 33 strikes in 49 pitches. The right-hander allowed three runs and five hits in four innings of his last start Friday against Toronto, when he threw a lot of strikes but too many that were over the middle of the plate.
“Everything felt good,” Medlen said. “The quality of strikes was better. The changeup was a lot better today. I slowed down my delivery.”
Braves starters Paul Maholm, Julio Teheran and Medlen have allowed four hits in 14-2/3 scoreless innings over past three games, with 14 strikeouts and three walks.
The Braves haven’t been able to acquire the ace they might have wanted for the top of their rotation, but they secured the depth they needed Monday with the signing of free agent right-hander Gavin Floyd.
One week after the Braves were eliminated by the Dodgers in a four-game division series, Braves general manager Frank Wren met with the team’s beat writers and discussed the 2013 season and the team’s needs going into the offseason.