Scott Kazmir scratched, Anibal Sanchez makes Braves debut

Newly signed Anibal Sanchez started for the Braves against Houston on Sunday after scheduled starter Scott Kazmir was scratched with a jaw contusion.

Sanchez, 34, pitched four innings of two-run ball. He’d made two appearances with the Twins earlier in the spring and allowed six runs in four innings. The Braves signed him Friday and said he’ll compete for a roster spot.

The veteran transitioned from starter to reliever last season, posting a 9.00 ERA across 21 innings coming out of the Tigers bullpen.

As for Kazmir, the delay was due to an unlucky break. A ball hit him in the mouth while he was playing catch in Bradenton on Friday. The team wanted to give him an extra day to heal.

“Everything’s OK,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said. “It’s still day-to-day as to when he’ll pitch again. Got hit in the jaw with a ball. I don’t know how. He just got hit.”

It’s possible Kazmir will pitch in a minor-league game on Monday or Tuesday, according to Snitker.

Kazmir has made four starts, allowing 10 earned runs across 9-2/3 innings. He’s still fighting for a back-end rotation or bullpen spot.