Gattis, Freeman hit homers in Braves’ split-squad rout

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — Evan Gattis continued his push for an Opening Day roster spot with the Braves by going 3-for-4 with a three-run homer and four RBIs Friday in a 14-9 split-squad win against the Astros in Kissimmee, Fla.

Freddie Freeman hit a two-run homer in a six-run first inning for the Braves, who got seven hits and six runs in two-thirds of an inning against young right-hander Jordan Lyles.

They added five runs in the second inning including the second homer of the spring by Gattis, who is 11-for-29 (.440) with four doubles, three home runs and 11 RBIs, with no walks and seven strikeouts.

The 26-year-old catcher/left fielder, who was out of baseball nearly four years before 2010 and hasn’t played above Double-A, is making a push for the backup catcher job behind Gerald Laird until starter Brian McCann’s expected mid-April return from shoulder-surgery rehab.

The Braves might also considering keeping Gattis as a third catcher/fifth outfielder and right-handed pinch-hitter.

Five other Braves had two hits apiece against the Astros: Dan Uggla, Joey Terdoslavich, Tyler Pastornicky and Matt Pagnozzi.

Short hops: The Braves face the Yankees for the second time in four days Saturday at 1:05 p.m., with lefty Mike Minor starting against New York right-hander Jose Ramirez. Braves lefties Luis Avilan and Alex Wood are among the other pitchers making the trip, along with Freeman and Uggla among lineup regulars. The starting outfielders – Jason Heyward, Justin and B.J. Upton – weren't on the travel list posted in the clubhouse…. Braves right-hander David Carpenter was charged with four runs and four hits in 1-2/3 innings of the win against Houston. After allowing four hits and five runs in two-thirds of an inning in his spring debut, Carpenter had allowed just one hit in three scoreless innings in his past three appearances before Friday.