Eventful day for Braves infielder Ed Lucas

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — For a guy who spent the first half of the game on the bench, Ed Lucas sure had an eventful day.

Te Braves’ backup middle-infield candidate went 2-for-2 with a pair of RBI singles in the Braves’ 5-5, 10-inning tie with the Mets on Saturday.

The former Kansas City Royals minor leaguer also made a throwing error on a short toss to second base from behind the bag, and Lucas was called out for not touching third base while racing home from second base on Diory Hernandez’s ninth-inning single.

Lucas’ ninth-inning RBI single had given the Braves a 3-2 lead, which they could have stretched to 4-2 if he weren’t called out when the Mets threw to third to appeal after Hernandez bounced his single to left field.

The Mets scored a tying run in the bottom of the inning.

Schafer’s day at leadoff

Center fielder Jordan Schafer went 1-for-4 with a single and a strikeout while serving as designated hitter and batting leadoff.

He’s competing for the fourth-outfield job this spring, and could be a backup plan if center fielder Nate McLouth doesn’t bounce back from a poor 2010 season.

Schafer was slowed for much of the past two seasons by a fracture hand that required surgery.

He demonstrated his speed on a bunt attempt with two out in the fifth inning, when Schafer pushed the ball too far up the third-base line but still nearly beat the throw to first base.

“I like the idea that he tried it,” manager Fredi Gonzalez said of Schafer’s decision to bunt. “That’s one thing that we’ve been talking about, using his speed. He squared around a little bit too early, but still, he ran 3.8 [seconds] to first. That’s good. I’m glad he’s trying [it].

“That’s what spring training’s all about.”

Etc. In Sunday’s home opener, Chipper Jones could get two or three at-bats as DH. The 38-year-old third baseman is coming back from knee surgery and could play his first game in the field next week.

Second baseman Dan Uggla, left fielder-third baseman Martin Prado and shortstop Alex Gonzalez will likely make their spring debuts Sunday after not making the trip to Port St. Lucie.

Fifth-starter candidates Rodrigo Lopez, Mike Minor and Brandon Beachy are scheduled to pitch two innings apiece Sunday, followed by relievers Peter Moylan, Scott Proctor and Jairo Asencio.

21 comments Add your comment

Madonna's chin hair

February 26th, 2011
7:47 pm

Billy Jack's Barbecue & Shrimp Co

February 26th, 2011
7:50 pm

Hey, come in and tell them I was 2nd and you can get a free dessert.

eskippy

February 26th, 2011
7:53 pm

Who don’t want the skin off they chicken?

evrdayjonny

February 26th, 2011
8:17 pm

About what I expected today. Pitching will get better, of course. Anxious to see how Chip feels after “REAL” at bats tomorrow.

Ostrich Racer

February 26th, 2011
8:37 pm

Still not convinced Uggla is the answer. Defense matters.

Jason

February 26th, 2011
8:38 pm

I felt Cristian Martinez deserved some props for getting out of Kimbrel’s jam. He was undervalued last season – and I felt he should have been used more (given more opportunities by Bobby).
Glad to see the FF Kid get off to a bang-up start! He’s gonna be something this season.
I hope Venters gets the closer job, though, as Kimbrel just might not be ready.
Wish Mather had made a better showing today too. He got showed up by the 5′7″ Matt Young, IMO.

Will be great to see Uggla and Prado tomorrow! Oh, and how about The Hinskinator today?!!

Go Braves!

Billy Jack's Barbecue & Shrimp Co

February 26th, 2011
8:44 pm

Ostrich Racer, come on, give me a break. Were you one of the numerous whiners the last 2 years complaining about a lack of “pop” in the lineup. Uggla will be fine. He gives us a huge threat in the lineup and will provide steady defense.

Saying that you are not convinced on February 26th is a little dramatic.

Ostrich Racer

February 26th, 2011
8:53 pm

BJ — If he provides steady defense, it will be a huge improvement. I’d love to see 30 homers, but I’m not confident — he’s getting older, and in the post-steroid age, that is not a recipe for improvement. And keep in mind, .289 last year was a career high. I’m pulling for him, I really am; but I think we spent too much for him, and I think we should’ve looked for power at another position, rather than sacrifice defense up the middle. I honestly hope I’m wrong.

Billy Jack's Barbecue & Shrimp Co

February 26th, 2011
9:32 pm

OR, well stated, and good point. Uggla’s probably a known quantity; thus not much upside; however, I will take his “average” performance over the last few years and be ecstatic. IMHO, Wren did a great job with this pickup. I hate losing Infante, but locking Uggla in gives us a power threat and adds fear to a punchless lineup that has sorely missed a “dangerous” hitter (exc. Chipper) since A. Jones left.

Also, my main point is that what else was available on the market? I don’t see Uggla as a gamble, rather he is known quantity and hits quite well at The Ted.

idealwatches

February 26th, 2011
9:44 pm

You cannot BEAT the CRACK of a WOODEN BAT. GO BRAVOS!

Logan

February 26th, 2011
9:56 pm

Braves radio with Pete van Wieren. Those were the days my friends.

Billy

February 26th, 2011
10:04 pm

Matt Young had a good day..Lets not forget he also is working for back up to Nate. He has worked his tail-off the last three years for a chance un-like some.

Jeff

February 26th, 2011
10:41 pm

DOB: I thought Lucas touched third, so I went back and watched the reply and he did. The Mets announcers even said that “he dragged his foot” touching the bag. I just think that needs to be noted.

JP

February 26th, 2011
10:57 pm

DOB – sorry you missed a great concert last night at the Fox. Old Crow was great, and Ol’ John Prine was his legendary self.

Mr. Melancholy

February 26th, 2011
11:33 pm

Enter your comments here

JHey's Better

February 26th, 2011
11:48 pm

Why are people losing their minds over one spring training game yeah Kimbrel gave up a homer and walked some guys its THE FIRST GAME OF SPRING TRAINING not the NL Championship game 7 to go to the Series. You know you can tell who actually watches and knows something about BASEBALL in general and who just rides the wagon until they lose 5 staight in May

Trojan

February 27th, 2011
8:20 am

I am pulling for Matt Young to get the backup outfield job. He hit well at AAA and he is fast and versitile.

Schafer needs to at least get a couple hundred atbats at AAA with atleast average success in order to be ready. The Braves may hurt him again if he is rush again.

Dominick

February 27th, 2011
8:31 am

Ideally I would like to see Venters in the 8th and kimbrel closing in the ninth with moylan in the 7th.

Billy

February 27th, 2011
10:20 am

I think Schafer will be ready by opening day. He has had a 3 month jump on the other players and has been doing baseball drills and hitting while the other players were vacationing. He looked sharp yesterday at the plate. We will see in CF today. Best outfielder on the team.

Fan since 1977

February 27th, 2011
10:30 am

DOB, any official word on whether Chipper is a go at DH today? Sorry, I don’t Tweet.

74 Dawg

February 27th, 2011
11:22 am

JP, what did Prine play? Love the guys lyrics.

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