Bryse Wilson continues bid for Braves’ rotation spot

030421 Bradenton: Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Bryse Wilson delivers against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the first inning of a MLB spring training baseball game at LECOM Park on Thursday, March 4, 2021, in Bradenton.   “Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@ajc.com”
Caption
030421 Bradenton: Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Bryse Wilson delivers against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the first inning of a MLB spring training baseball game at LECOM Park on Thursday, March 4, 2021, in Bradenton. “Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@ajc.com”

Credit: Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@

Bryse Wilson continued his steady spring Saturday, allowing one run over 4-2/3 innings in the Braves’ 8-2 win over the Red Sox.

It wasn’t Wilson’s finest showing, but he navigated through it well. He surrendered five hits, struck out three and walked three. He departed with the bases loaded in the fifth after issuing two walks and hitting a batter. Lefty A.J. Minter struck out Rafael Devers to end the frame.

“It was good for him that he had traffic, made pitches, had some double plays, some long at-bats,” manager Brian Snitker said. “It was all good.”

Wilson took a line drive off his calf in the first at-bat of the game. It began a shaky first inning in which the Red Sox scored their lone run off him. Wilson settled in before running out of gas in the fifth, leading to his exit after exceeding the 70-pitch mark.

“I was able to get a couple more strikeouts, get guys to two strikes a bit better,” Wilson said. “I was happy with that. I was more in the strike zone last start, but we’ll work on it and go from there. Overall, I’m happy about it.”

Wilson and Kyle Wright have had solid springs, which is reason for encouragement. Regardless of who opens the season in the rotation, the Braves will need them both over the long haul.

Notes from Saturday

- Infielder Ehire Adrianza hasn’t cooled off. After hitting a double Friday night, Adrianza went 3-for-3 and singled home two runs in the fifth inning Saturday. He’s hitting .429 this spring. His performance, along with his defensive abilities, have positioned him to take one of the open bench spots. No Braves player has had a better spring than Adrianza, who’s a non-roster invitee.

- It was valuable to see Minter enter in a bases-loaded jam and strike out a hitter such as Devers. The Braves will count on the lefty in those situations during the regular season.

“He’s going to do a back-to-back, so that was the perfect situation to bring him in for the first one,” Snitker said. “That’s going to be his role, so that was good to see.”

- Catcher Alex Jackson hit a monstrous home run to left field that landed on the CoolToday Park concourse. Jackson possesses immense power, though it hasn’t consistently translated to games because of his struggles to make contact. If he wins the backup catcher job, he’ll have more opportunities to show that power in moments that count.

“Oh my God, that ball’s as far as I’ve seen, I think,” Snitker said. “That’s good. That’s all he needs to do. Just making the contact. That was great to see.”

- Righty Luke Jackson pitched a scoreless inning, his third in five appearances. “Luke has been looking more like himself, like he did a couple years ago, all spring,” Snitker said. “The stuff has been crisp. Everything has been real good.”

Jackson is vying for a bullpen spot. If Snitker’s words are an indication, he has a good chance at landing one.

- Max Fried will make his second spring start Sunday against the Rays. He allowed one run over four innings in his debut March 10. The southpaw is the leading candidate to start opening day April 1 in Philadelphia.

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