Johnson delivers for Braves after Medlen's sharp start
Third-base candidate hits go-ahead single in ninth; Freeman belts third homer
JUPITER, Fla. -- Kris Medlen and Nathan Eovaldi each turned in strong outings before the Braves pulled out a 2-1 victory against the Marlins under the lights on Wednesday at Roger Dean Stadium.
Chris Johnson, competing for Atlanta's starting third-base job, delivered a two-out, go-ahead RBI single in the ninth inning.
Freddie Freeman hit his third homer of the spring for the Braves, while the only two hits Medlen allowed in his 4 2/3 innings of work were infield singles. But Atlanta reliever Jonny Venters walked four straight Marlins batters to plate the tying run in the sixth before working his way out of it with a 5-2-3 double play.
Freeman's leadoff homer in the second -- a deep shot to right field off a 1-1 pitch -- was Eovaldi's only blemish in his five innings. The Miami right-hander scattered three hits and the one run, while striking out four. He threw 70 pitches, while Medlen needed just 49 to get through his outing.
Medlen's two hits allowed were both line drives that deflected off him on the mound. The first, off the bat of Rob Brantly in the fourth, glanced off the right-hander's left foot.
The second, off the bat of Casey Kotchman in the fifth, ricocheted off Medlen's right triceps for a base hit. Medlen came out of the game after that hit, but likely would have had just one more batter, anyway. He appeared fine in the dugout and while walking back to the clubhouse afterward.
With a double and a single, Braves center fielder B.J. Upton boosted his spring batting average to .429. Kotchman, likely to start the season at first base for the Marlins as Logan Morrison recovers from right knee surgery, is now hitting .440.
Up next: The Braves do the second half of their Jupiter double-dip on Thursday when they face the Cardinals at Roger Dean Stadium. Left-hander Mike Minor will take the mound, looking to keep putting up zeroes. Minor has not allowed a run in either of his previous two starts. He'll face right-hander Joe Kelly. First pitch is set for 1:05 p.m. ET.