LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — It’s only the first week of spring training, but the Braves like what they’ve seen in workouts and games from Dan Uggla, who’s batting 1.00o with three RBIs after his first five plate appearances.
Uggla had two walks, a sacrifice fly and two RBIs Friday and is 2-for-2 with three RBIs for the spring. His two-out walk in the first inning brought in the first run of the game in a 7-5 loss to the Astros.
The Braves loaded the bases with none out against right-hander Lucas Harrell on two walks and an infield hit by second-base prospect Tommy La Stella.
Cunningham goes deep: Todd Cunningham hit an eighth-inning leadoff homer for the Braves. The minor league outfielder has been working some at second base and third base during the offseason and at spring training, and first-base coach Terry Pendleton said he knows how to handle ground balls.
Cunningham played some infield in high school and suggested to team officials at the beginning of the offseason that he’d like to work some there to increase his potential playing opportunities. The Braves agreed it was a good idea and told him to focus on second and third bases.
Rough relief: Braves relievers Jordan Walden and prospect J.R. Graham each gave up two runs Friday. Walden allowed a walk and two doubles in the fifth inning, and Graham gave up three hits and a walk while recording two outs in the sixth.
Graham hadn’t pitched in a game since being shut down in May with a strained shoulder, and Gonzalez said he wasn’t concerned about the results Friday. He pulled Graham with two outs because his pitch count was climbing and the Braves want to be careful early on with the talented right-hander.
Etc. Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman had two hits and a walk in three plate appearances, including an RBI single…. Braves backup catcher Gerald Laird, who left Thursday’s game with back spasms, could be ready to play by Sunday or Monday, Gonzalez said…. Fox regional networks Fox Sports South and SportSouth will televise 156 of 162 Braves games this season. Play-by-play announcer Chip Caray and analyst Joe Simpson return and will be joined by Hall of Fame pitcher Tom Glavine as guest analyst for some games. Also, Fox and Fox Sports 1 will carry three Braves games apiece.