KISSIMMEE, Fla. (AP) - Tommy Hanson was hoping for a smoother start to his delayed spring debut. The wet weather didn't help.
In a start pushed back after he sustained a mild concussion in an auto accident in February, Hanson gave up three runs, but the game between Atlanta Braves and Toronto Blue Jays split squads was postponed by rain in the top of the third inning.
Hanson said he was having a hard time gripping the ball. He allowed two hits, walked one and also gave up a two-run homer to Toronto's Jeff Mathis.
``The baseballs were soaking wet,' Hanson said. ``I just started laughing about it. I was just out there trying to compete. I felt like a little kid again, playing outside in the rain.'
He said he's tweaking his delivery, trying to get the ball to the plate a little quicker to hold runners on base.
``My command is fine and I feel pretty good,' Hanson said. ``I would have liked to have thrown more, but I still felt good for my first time out.'
Hanson went 11-7 last year with 22 starts. He has started 77 games in the past three seasons for the Braves. He said he felt like he was rounding into shape and had no concerns about being ready for opening day. He threw 28 pitches, 11 for strikes.
``He looked really good in the bullpen,' Braves catcher David Ross said of the warmup session. ``His breaking ball was great, but it was just hard to perform under those conditions. We were all just trying to stay dry and get some work in.'
Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez agreed that it was a tough day for anyone to pitch.
``It was just a tough day to pitch,' Gonzalez said. ``We got him some work and, after a day like this, I am not looking at the box scores.'
Kyle Drabek pitched an inning and allowed one run for the Blue Jays. He was expected to go three innings.
NOTES: Brandon Beachy will make his third start of the spring when the Braves travel to Jupiter to face the Cardinals. Craig Kimbrel, Jonny Venters, Cristhian Martinez, and Cory Gearrin are also set to pitch. Jaime Garcia will start for the Cardinals. . Starting pitcher Tim Hudson said he is hoping to be back in the rotation by May 1 after lumbar spine-fusion surgery. ... Brandon Morrow will start on Monday against the Baltimore Orioles in Dunedin. He'll face Orioles starter Wei-Yin Chen. Sunday marked the first split-squad game of the spring for the Jays who will have played 10 games, including two more split squads in the next seven days.
The Associated Press News Service
The Associated Press
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