VIERA, Fla. — The Braves rallied for a 3-2 victory over the Nationals Wednesday with a game-tying run in the bottom of the ninth and two runs in the top of the 10th. Pinch-hitter Tyler Pastornicky delivered a key hit in the winning rally.
Jose Yepez singled to lead off the Braves’ 10th. After Pastornicky failed to get a sacrifice bunt down, he singled to right to put runners on first and third. Pinch-runner Christian Bethancourt scored when Jose Constanza reached on an error. Pastornicky, who went to third on the error, scored on Rohm’s sacrifice fly with the winning run.
“For me, Tyler Pastornicky had the best at-bat I’ve seen in camp for awhile,” manager Fredi Gonzalez said. “He couldn’t get the sac bunt over. He battled, battled and got the guy over to third on a base hit. He did a good job going first to third on a possible double-play ball and we were able to add a run. That was big.”
The Nationals led 1-0 after an unearned run in the fourth inning came after a pass ball on Brian McCann. Jordan Parraz tied the game with two outs in the top of the ninth with an RBI single, scoring David Rohm who pinch ran for Josh Wilson after he walked.
The Nationals plated a run in the bottom of the 10th on two hits but fell short.
Michael Bourn singled and had his first stolen base of the spring. Dan Uggla nearly hit a three-run homer in the third inning but a strong wind kept his drive just inside the park.
The Braves improved to 6-13-2 in the Grapefruit League after a 1-10-1 start.
Moving forward with regulars
With the exception of the yet-to-be-decided shortstop position, Gonzalez said he will use much of his regular lineup for the final 12 exhibition games. Andrelton Simmons, who went 1-for-4 Wednesday, and Pastornicky are still locked in a battle for the starting job.
“We have to try to put your guys so they can play together as a unit,” Gonzalez said.
Gonzalez said McCann will be spelled by David Ross at catcher and he won’t over-use the bullpen, but starting with Thursday and Friday home games (against the Marlins and Mets) expect to see the regulars for as much as eight innings.
Gonzalez said he divides the spring into three segments and the final one is about to begin.
Beachy versus Marlins
Right-hander Brandon Beachy getting the start Thursday against the Marlins. It will be Beachy’s fourth start of the spring. He is 1-1 with a 6.00 ERA, giving up seven hits and six earned runs in nine innings. Beachy has struck out 11 and walked eight. He will be followed by RH Eric O’Flaherty, RH Cory Gearrin, RH Jairo Asencio and LH Dusty Hughes.