Norris goes 3 innings to help Braves beat Marlins 5-2
JUPITER, Fla. (AP) Bud Norris picked off Ichiro Suzuki at first base and threw plenty of strikes to the plate, too.
Trying to bounce back from a dismal 2015 season, Norris llowed one run in three innings Thursday to help the Atlanta Braves beat the Miami Marlins 5-2.
The right-hander threw 53 pitches and struck out three. He gave up four hits after pitching two perfect innings in his first start.
''I expect to have a good year,'' Norris said. ''I want to pick up from where I was in '14 and forget '15. I know I can pitch.''
He also has a good pickoff move. With runners at the corners in the third, Norris nabbed Suzuki (498 career steals).
''I saw him kind of creeping,'' Norris said. ''I knew he was going to go in that situation. It was nice to get a pickoff, for sure.''
Atlanta's Jeff Francoeur hit a wind-blown two-run homer off Justin Nicolino. Francoeur, 32, signed a minor league contract last month and is bidding for a roster spot.
''In spring the first two weeks you're trying to find your swing,'' Francoeur said. ''The fun part is just getting back in the groove. The last two weeks is when you start honing in, but it felt good to get one.''
The Braves' Adonis Garcia doubled home a run in the first and later singled to hike his average to .389 (7 for 18).
Marlins: Jose Urena, making his first start and second appearance of spring training, allowed three hits and one run in 2 1-3 innings. He's a contender for one of two vacant spots in the rotation.
''He's a guy with a good arm, quality stuff and a worker,'' manager Don Mattingly said. ''People in the organization love this kid.''
The Braves shifted three infielders to the right side against Don Kelly in the third inning, so he bunted toward third base for an easy leadoff hit against Norris and later scored on Miguel Rojas' two-out single.
''We're going to do a little bit more shifting this year, and we need to work on it in spring training,'' Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said.
The Braves' Hector Olivera had a double and is batting .455 while also winning positive early reviews for his defense after switching from third base to left field.
''Anything he gets to he'll catch,'' Gonzalez said. ''His arm strength has been surprisingly good. The more comfortable he gets, the more aggressive he'll be getting to flyballs. I think he'll be better than fine.''
Olivera was acquired from the Dodgers last year in a three-team trade.
Marlins: Slugger Giancarlo Stanton is expected to return to the lineup Sunday, said. Stanton hit several long homers in batting practice but missed his fifth game in a row because of a sore right knee. He will remain in Jupiter and take batting practice while the team makes a two-day trip to Florida's west coast Friday and Saturday.
Braves: C Tyler Flowers (hamstring) is expected to play Friday or Saturday.
Pro Football Hall of Fame coach Bill Parcells hung out behind the cage during batting practice visiting with the Marlins' Barry Bonds, Andre Dawson and Dee Gordon, among others.
Marlins: RHP Jarred Cosart, contending for a spot in the rotation, is scheduled to start Friday at Minnesota.
Braves: They have two split-squad games Friday. RHP Kyle Kendrick is scheduled to start at home against the Phillies, and RHP Jhoulys Chacin is to start in Jupiter against the Cardinals.