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Houston at Atlanta

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    Houston1
    Atlanta «3

    Braves 3, Astros 1

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    KISSIMMEE, Fla. (AP) - Jair Jurrjens started pitching scared this spring and it showed.

    The Atlanta Braves starter is coming off two straight years of injuries to his right knee that forced him to miss most of September last season while the Braves blew a big lead for the National League wild card.

    Jurrjens has struggled all spring, but pitched seven strong innings, allowing one run and striking out four, in a 3-1 win over a Houston Astros split squad on Friday.

    Jurrjens went 13-6 with a 2.96 ERA for the Braves last season, but missing September was a big reason why the Braves missed the postseason.

    After struggling earlier this spring, Jurrjens said he needed to worry about the basics.

    "I have my control back and my pitches are starting to work," Jurrjens said after his second straight quality start. "I needed a big boost mentally after I got off to a tough start, but I have had two big ones now. I feel good."

    Jurrjens said it's been tough to keep the knee injury out of his mind. The knee is the one he uses to push off to throw.

    With Tim Hudson out of the rotation until at least May with a back injury, it is up to Jurrjens and Tommy Hanson to pitch well.

    "I've been dealing with the pain," Jurrjens said. "I just decided to start pitching like the old J.J. I was hesitating when I had to push off. I was scared."

    Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez likes what he is seeing from Jurrjens as spring training winds down.

    "That's two straight good outings and all of his pitches were working," Gonzalez said. "He knows he is close to pitching big innings for us."

    Jurrjens said the key is to be more aggressive and stop thinking about the knee.

    Kyle Weiland, one of three candidates for the final two spots in the Houston rotation, allowed three runs in six innings.

    He got off to a rocky start, as the Braves opened the first with a triple and two doubles, but he allowed only two hits the rest of the way while striking out five.

    Weiland, who was acquired from the Boston Red Sox where he made his major league debut last season, said he feels as if he has a reasonable shot with spring training winding down.

    "I didn't want to put too much pressure on myself," Weiland said. "We have three guys going for two jobs. Things get worse when you try to do too much."

    Weiland said he didn't mind going from the perennially contending Red Sox to a team that lost 106 games last season.

    "I love being a part of a turnaround," Weiland said. "There are a lot of exciting things happening around here."

    The Braves scored all three runs in the first off Weiland. Luis Durango opened the inning with a triple that was followed by doubles from Jack Wilson and Freddie Freeman. Wilson and Freeman each had two hits.

    Chris Snyder homered for the Astros.

    NOTES: Prior to the game, the Braves signed RHP Livan Hernandez to a major league deal, just hours after he was released by the Houston Astros. Hernandez went 8-13 with a 4.47 ERA for the Washington Nationals last season. ... 3B Chipper Jones and RHP Arodys Vizcaino have been placed on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to March 26. Jones is suffering from left knee surgery and Vizcaino underwent successful Tommy John surgery and is expected to be out for the season. ... Hanson will start for the Braves against the Detroit Tigers on Saturday followed by RHP Craig Kimbrel and RHP Cory Gearrin. RHP Justin Verlander will start for the Tigers.

     
    Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
     
     
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    Houston Astros
    HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
    J.B. Shuck, CF4000001 .240
    Jose Altuve, 2B4010010 .261
    Brian Bogusevic, RF3010100 .222
    Carlos Lee, 1B3010000 .317
        Jonathan Meyer, PR-3B1000001 .000
    Brett Wallace, 3B-1B4010012 .277
    Chris Snyder, C3111011 .270
        Carlos Corporan, C1010000 .250
    Justin Ruggiano, LF4000021 .194
    Marwin Gonzalez, SS3010110 .184
    Kyle Weiland, P1000000 .500
       a- George Springer, PH1000000 .333
        Rhiner Cruz, P0000000 .000
       b- Telvin Nash, PH1000002 .000
    Totals3317126  
    a-grounded out for Weiland in the 7th
    b-lined out for Cruz in the 9th
    Batting
    HR - Chris Snyder (4, Jurrjens)
    SH - Kyle Weiland (2)
    RBI - Chris Snyder (7)
    SB - Jose Altuve (3, 2nd base off Jurrjens/Ross)
    Team LOB - 8
    Fielding
    Outfield Assists - Justin Ruggiano 1
    DP - Meyer-Wallace
    Houston Astros
    PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
    Kyle Weiland (L,2-1) 6533150 2.86
    Rhiner Cruz 2100120 6.48
    HBP - Uggla (by Kyle Weiland)
    Pitches-Strikes - Kyle Weiland 37-32, Rhiner Cruz 14-10
    Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Kyle Weiland 5-7
    Batters Faced - Kyle Weiland 24, Rhiner Cruz 7
    Atlanta Braves
    HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
    Luis Durango, RF3110110 .481
        Eric O'Flaherty, P0000000 .000
    Jack Wilson, SS4121000 .182
    Freddie Freeman, 1B3121110 .275
        Ian Gac, PR-1B0000000 .000
    Dan Uggla, 2B2000012 .298
        Philip Gosselin, 2B1000011 .000
    Jason Heyward, CF2011010 .222
    Matt Diaz, LF3000003 .184
    David Ross, C3000001 .135
        Cristhian Martinez, P0000000 .000
        Nick Ahmed, SS0000000 .000
    Drew Sutton, 3B3000020 .239
    Jair Jurrjens, P2000000 .400
       a- Jose Yepez, PH-C1000000 .267
    Totals2736327  
    a-fouled out for Jurrjens in the 7th
    Batting
    2B - Jack Wilson (1, Weiland), Freddie Freeman (2, Weiland)
    3B - Luis Durango (2, Weiland)
    SF - Jason Heyward (1)
    RBI - Jack Wilson (1), Freddie Freeman (14), Jason Heyward (12)
    SB - Dan Uggla (1, 2nd base off Weiland/Snyder)
    Team LOB - 4
    Fielding
    DP - Uggla-J. Wilson-Freeman
    E - Drew Sutton (2, Throwing)
    Atlanta Braves
    PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
    Jair Jurrjens (W,2-2) 7511141 5.81
    Cristhian Martinez (H,3) 1100010 1.38
    Eric O'Flaherty (S,2) 1100110 5.00
    Pitches-Strikes - Jair Jurrjens 40-35, Cristhian Martinez 6-6, Eric O'Flaherty 10-6
    Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jair Jurrjens 12-5, Cristhian Martinez 1-1, Eric O'Flaherty 1-1
    Batters Faced - Jair Jurrjens 27, Cristhian Martinez 4, Eric O'Flaherty 5
    Game Information
    Attendance - 5246
    Game Time - 2:15
    Temperature - 82
    Umpires - Home - Jerry Layne, First Base - UMP Nonindividual, Second Base - Stephen Barga, Third Base - Andy Fletcher