Braves notes: Kyle Wright battles through his first start of spring

Braves pitcher Kyle Wright loosens up his throwing arm last month at spring training camp in North Port, Fla.

Credit: Curtis Compton

Credit: Curtis Compton

Braves pitcher Kyle Wright loosens up his throwing arm last month at spring training camp in North Port, Fla.

The Braves took a look at Kyle Wright in a starting role Friday as the competition continues for the final two spots in the season-opening pitching rotation.

After working five scoreless innings out of the bullpen in two previous spring-training outings, Wright allowed two runs on three hits in 3-1/3 innings as the starter in an exhibition game against the Boston Red Sox at CoolToday Park. He struck out five and walked two in a game the Braves eventually won, 7-5.

Wright allowed one baserunner (a walk) in the first two innings before the Red Sox bunched three hits in the third inning.

“It wasn’t bad,” Wright said of his outing. “I felt like I probably went to a few too many 3-2 counts. That’s one thing I wish I had done -- keep my pitch count down -- so in future outings I could go deeper into ballgames.

“I felt pretty happy with the way I commanded my off-speed pitches. I really had no two-seam (fastball) today; it was pretty bad. A couple of balls got to the holes (in the third inning). ... I did a decent job of limiting the damage.”

Mike Soroka, Max Fried and Mike Foltynewicz hold the top three spots in the Braves’ five-man rotation, while Sean Newcomb and Felix Hernandez appear to be the front-runners for the final two berths, with Wright also in the mix.

“He wasn’t real sharp, but he got himself in trouble and managed through it,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said of Wright’s outing Friday. “He kept things in order a little bit and didn’t let it get out of control, even though it was kind of a struggle for him.”

To give Wright the start in what otherwise would have been Fried’s turn, the Braves had Fried pitch in a minor-league intra-squad game on a back field.

Other notes from Friday’s game: 

 Utilityman Charlie Culberson, competing for a spot on the Braves' bench, delivered a three-run triple to left-center field in the eighth inning to put the Braves ahead. "The thing we wanted to do was play him at shortstop a little bit," Snitker said of Culberson, "and he has done a good job there."

Coming off a couple of rocky outings, relief pitcher Shane Greene worked two scoreless innings, allowing one hit and striking out three. "Over the course of the summer, he is going to have to be a multi-inning guy in certain situations," Snitker said. "It's probably what his role is a little bit – come in, finish an inning, go back out. The good thing about Shane is he's durable to be able to do that."

Infielder Adeiny Hechavarria, who has been sidelined with a strained oblique, is expected to play shortstop in Saturday's game against the Tampa Bay Rays in North Port.