LAKELAND, Fla. — Braves backup catcher Gerald Laird left after the first inning of Thursday’s game against Detroit due to back spasms.
The veteran said he felt his back spasm on a swing during his at-bat in the top of the first inning, a groundout. He was replaced after telling manager Fredi Gonzalez about his condition following the bottom of the inning.
“Hopefully I’ll be good to go in a couple of days,” said Laird, who had a similar incident two years ago. “When I swung at that ball, usually I run it out pretty good. I just couldn’t run.
He blamed himself for pitcher Kris Medlen’s first-inning wild pitch, saying he normally would have gotten his catcher’s mitt down quicker to stop the ball.
Laird said he had a similar incident with back spasms two years ago and believes he’ll be ready to play again after a day or two of rest and treatment.
With starting catcher Evan Gattis not on the trip — the Braves’ regular infield also didn’t travel — minor leaguers Jose Yepez and Steve Lerud handled the catching duties the rest of the way.
Doumit’s day: Offseason trade acquisition Ryan Doumit impressed Gonzalez, going 2-for-3 with an RBI triple to the right-center gap and playing good defense in right field. The Braves’ only other hits were Jason Heyward’s third-inning homer and third-base prospect Edward Salcedo’s double off the left-center wall.
Etc. The Braves have lost their first two spring games, with non-roster pitchers getting both decisions. Wirfin Obispo gave up up two runs, three hits and a walk in the fifth inning Thursday and took the loss, and Cody Martin gave up two runs, four hits and a walk in the eighth inning….
There was no update on the condition of outfielder Justin Upton, who has missed the first two games with a sore side muscle and didn’t travel to Lakeland. The injury is considered minor and Upton wasn’t expected to miss more than two or three games….
The Braves have a home game against Houston Friday night at 6:05 p.m. at Champion Stadium.