LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — The Braves got four hits in six innings against Detroit ace Justin Verlander during a 2-1 loss Saturday that was rained out in the top of the seventh.
Craig Kimbrel threw two pitches to the first Detroit batter of the seventh inning when a deluge stopped the game.
The Braves got a run in the fourth when Freddie Freeman hit a two-out single and scored on Dan Uggla’s double. Uggla was out trying to stretch the hit to a triple.
Verlander had no walks and five strikeouts. He struck out Eric Hinske on a slider to end the second inning after Hinske fouled off four consecutive 96-97 mph fastballs.
“I tell you what,” Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said, “today’s game is 2-1 and we lose, but I saw some great at-bats. Jack Wilson had a 10- or 12-pitch at-bats. Hinske had some great at-bats against the best right-hander in the American League and maybe in baseball.
“Freeman hit that ball in the gap that kept hanging, and nice to see Danny drive in that run. Overall I’m pleased with way we swung the bat.”
Gonzalez said he’ll use all of his top three relievers — closer Kimbrel, setup men Jonny Venters and Eric O’Flaherty — in Tuesday’s exhibition game against Braves prospects at Triple-A Gwinnett’s Coolray Field. Mike Minor will start that game for the Braves, who are off Wednesday before the season opener Thursday at New York….
Reliever Anthony Varvaro (pectoral strain) hasn’t pitched in eight days and might not be ready to pitch when the season begins. He’s expected to start the season at Gwinnett….
Julio Teheran will start Sunday against Phillies lefty Cliff Lee in a game that will be televised by CSS.