Chacin pitches into 5th inning, Braves and Rays tie
KISSIMMEE, Fla. (AP) Jhoulys Chacin pitched 4 2/3 innings in his final spring start Friday and the Atlanta Braves played a split squad of Tampa Bay Rays to a 2-2 exhibition tie.
Chacin gave up one run on three hits and goes into the season as the projected No. 4 starter.
''I did the best I could since I came to spring training to try to get a spot in the rotation,'' the 26-year-old right-hander said. ''I don't know what's going to happen next.''
The Braves plan to announce their final roster decisions Saturday. So far, they have only picked Julio Teheran, Bud Norris and Matt Wisler as their starters.
With two scheduled off-days in the first week, they plan to open the season Monday with only four starters and eight relief pitchers.
''We'll talk about it,'' manager Fredi Gonzalez said. ''(Chacin) has pitched well enough to warrant a really good conversation about it.''
Jeff Francoeur and Tyler Flowers drove in the Atlanta runs with singles in the fourth off Rays starter Adam Wilk.
Logan Forsythe drove in a run for the Rays with a sacrifice fly in the fifth after Dayron Varona doubled. Varona had one of three hits to help tie the game in the ninth.
Rays: Wilk pitched four innings, giving up five singles, including four in a row in the fourth.
Braves: After giving up 25 hits in 16 1-3 innings in five preceding outings, Chacin didn't give up a hit until after getting two outs in the fourth. ''I think I can still get better, especially on breaking balls, but my fastball is getting better and I think I can get back to where I threw two or three years ago,'' he said.
RAYS OF HOPE
Forsythe, Tampa Bay's best hitter last season, expects newly acquired Corey Dickerson, Logan Morrison, Steve Pearce and Hank Conger to upgrade the offense that scored the second-fewest runs in the AL.
''I think the new guys that have come here have gotten a lot more comfortable throughout spring,'' he said. ''With that depth, that platoon factor is going to be good for us.''
NO SPRING WALKS FOR WINKLER
Braves reliever Dan Winkler has 17 strikeouts and no walks in nine spring outings.
''There's something about that arm action, that delivery, that batters don't get a good look at,'' noted Gonzalez. ''There's a little deception. You don't get good hacks on it.''
Braves: LHP Manny Banuelos, reporting soreness from last year's elbow surgery, is the only serious injury issue of the spring.
''Manny is the only one we haven't been able to turn over. Everybody else is ready to go,'' Gonzalez said.
Rays: RHP Chris Archer will pitch on opening day against the Toronto Blue Jays in St. Petersburg on Sunday.
Braves: RHP Williams Perez will pitch against the Detroit Tigers on Sunday before the flight to Atlanta for Monday's opener against Washington.