Freeman, Gattis lead Braves' offensive attack
First baseman homers in six-run first; prospect also goes deep, drives in four
KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- The split-squad Braves sent 10 batters to the plate in the first inning and batted around again in the second to jump on the Astros and run away for a 14-9 victory on Friday afternoon at Osceola County Stadium.
Freddie Freeman's second homer of the spring, a two-run shot to right field, was one of seven hits for the Braves in the first inning against Astros starter Jordan Lyles, who was pulled after giving up six runs in two-thirds of an inning.
Tyler Pastornicky had a two-run single in the first inning, and the Braves scored five times in the second against reliever Sam Demel, getting a two-run double by former Astros third baseman Chris Johnson and a two-run homer by Evan Gattis.
Atlanta scored three more times in the third to take a 14-1 lead.
In three starts this year, Lyles is 0-3 with a 25.20 ERA. He's pitched five innings and allowed 20 hits and 14 earned runs.
"Today, they just hit balls where guys weren't, they hit balls hard, they hit balls soft," Lyles said. "The credit goes to them. It has nothing to do with me really. When it comes right down to it, I need to make better pitches. But I'm not throwing all my pitches right now. The scoreboard doesn't look good, but that's not the main focus right now."
Brandon Barnes singled and scored a run in the first and then launched his team-high third homer of the spring in the third inning. Marc Krauss also homered for the Astros in the fifth inning.
Up next for the Braves: Mike Minor will make his third start when the Braves travel to Tampa, Fla., on Saturday to play the Yankees at 1:05 p.m. ET. Building off of last year's late-season success, Minor has allowed two runs through his first five innings this spring. Freddie Freeman and Dan Uggla are among the position players scheduled to make the trip and be part of the spring debut of Yankees closer Mariano Rivera. The game will be broadcast in Atlanta on 680 The Fan and 93.7 FM.