March 11, 2016

KISSIMMEE, Fla. (AP) Atlanta's Kyle Kendrick was rocked by his former team, giving up seven runs in less than two innings, and a Braves split-squad lost to the Philadelphia Phillies 9-2 on Friday.

Ryan Howard, playing for the first time in a week after getting over an illness, had a two-run double in the first off Kendrick, whose bid to win a spot in the Braves' rotation took another major blow. His ERA in two spring appearances climbed to 22.09.

''I just had too many pitches up in the zone,'' Kendrick said. ''Maybe I'm putting too much pressure on myself. I need to relax and make pitches.''

The 31-year-old might be running out of time.

Kendrick is in camp as a non-roster invitee after a miserable season in Colorado, going 7-13 with a 6.32 ERA. He spent his first eight seasons in Philadelphia, posting double-figure wins six times.

He didn't recognize the Phillies, who have launched a major rebuilding job since he left.

''I don't know any of those guys,'' Kendrick said. ''Howard is about the only one.''

Kendrick was lifted with two outs in the second, having surrendered nine hits and two walks.

Cesar Hernandez and Darin Ruf also had two RBIs apiece for Philadelphia.

Atlanta did its only scoring in the first on A.J. Pierzynski's sacrifice fly and Dian Toscano's RBI single.

The Phillies outhit the Braves 16-8.

HOWARD'S RETURN

The big first baseman served as a designated hitter in his return to the lineup and played the entire game, making five plate appearances. He went 1-for-4 with a walk.

Manager Pate Mackanin was impressed by what he saw from Howard.

''He looked good,'' Mackanin said. ''Unless he's tired tomorrow, I'd like to play him again at first base. We're trying to play catch-up.''

STARTING TIME

Philadelphia's David Buchanan didn't help his longshot bid to get back in the rotation. The right-hander went two innings, surrendering four hits, two runs and walking two.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Phillies: RHP Charlie Morton was scratched from his scheduled start after coming down with the illness that has swept through the clubhouse.

Braves: 1B Freddie Freeman, being brought back cautiously from a wrist injury, left the game for precautionary reasons. ... C Tyler Flowers is scheduled to be behind the plate Saturday after being slowed for a few days by a minor hamstring injury.

EXTRA WORK

Bobby LaFromboise went two innings after coming on for Buchanan. The left-hander struck out three, walked one and didn't allow a hit.

''We're looking for long men,'' Mackanin said. ''I like a pitcher who upsets their timing, gives them different looks.''

DEFENSIVE WIZARDRY

Most of the crowd had left by the time the Braves pulled off the best defensive play of the game in the ninth.

On a hard-hit grounder up the middle, second baseman Emerson Landoni made a backhanded stop going to his right and flipped the ball with his glove to shortstop Johan Camargo, who threw on to first baseman Barrett Kleinknecht to get the out.

All three players were called up from the minor-league camp to fill out the roster for the split-squad game.

UP NEXT

Phillies: RHP Vince Velasquez gets the nod against the Toronto Blue Jays. He has a 3.60 ERA in two previous spring appearances covering five innings.

Braves: LHP Manny Banuelos is set to make his first appearance of the spring against the Washington Nationals.

---

Follow Paul Newberry on Twitter at www.twitter.com/pnewberry1963 . His work can be found at http://bigstory.ap.org/content/paul-newberry .

You May Like