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.