JUPITER, Fla. (AP) - Atlanta Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez was more surprised than concerned after Kris Medlen was hit by two line drives Wednesday night.
Medlen pitched 4 2-3 scoreless innings, then left the Braves' 2-1 win over the Miami Marlins when he was hit by a line drive for the second time.
``I'm surprised the balls hit him because usually he makes those plays. He's that good of an athlete,' Gonzalez said. ``I think we dodged a bullet with him getting hit.'
Rob Brantly lined a single off Medlen's left shoe with one out in the fourth, and Casey Kotchman hit the right-hander's pitching arm in the fifth. Medlen was replaced for precautionary reasons by Jonny Venters.
``It's tightening up a tad bit, but I don't anticipate any changes in scheduling,' said Medlen, who was hit on the back of his triceps. ``It feels fine. Ready to go for next time.'
Brantly's liner hit the tip of Medlen's spikes before ricocheting toward shortstop.
``I wear 10 1-2 shoes, but I wear 11 in cleats,' Medlen said. ``So it was nowhere near my foot.'
Medlen struck out three and 33 of his 49 pitches were strikes. The balls off Medlen were the Marlins' only hits.
``He was really sharp,' Gonzalez said.
Miami's Chris Valaika led off the third by hitting a long fly to left-center - much closer to center - where left fielder Justin Upton tracked it down on the warning track while his brother, center fielder B.J. Upton, watched.
``B.J. never saw it off the bat,' Gonzalez said. ``I told Justin, in front of B.J., `We didn't trade for you to play center field.''
Freddie Freeman homered off Nathan Eovaldi leading off the second, his third home run of spring training. Chris Johnson added a tiebreaking single against Jonathan Albaladejo with two outs in the ninth.
Eovaldi gave up three hits and struck out four in five innings.
``Playing under the lights is just a different atmosphere,' Eovaldi said. ``We're so used to playing under the lights, so being able to get out and get a start out there was nice. It was fun.'
Venters forced in a run in the sixth when he walked four straight batters.
B.J. Upton had a single and double in three at_bats for the Braves and is batting .429 (18 for 42).
NOTES: Miami used the designated hitter; Atlanta did not. ... The Marlins reassigned RHP Jose Fernandez and OF Jake Marisnick to minor league camp. RHP Chris Hatcher was optioned to Triple-A New Orleans (Pacific Coast League). Fernandez, Miami's top prospect, is expected to start the season at Double-A. ``He was very impressive. His day will come,' Marlins manager Mike Redmond said. ... Gonzalez said Matt Kennelly probably won't be able to catch Thursday after developing a blood blister on a right-hand finger when he was hit by a pitch while attempting to bunt. ... Former NFL coach Bill Parcells attended the game and stood near the batting cage while each team took batting practice. ``He said he saw me play Double-A at Portland,' Redmond said. ... Marlins 1B Joe Mahoney (oblique) was sidelined and in Redmond's words, ``unable to do anything.' Redmond said Mahoney would be evaluated again Thursday.
The Associated Press News Service
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