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Harang hit hard in Braves debut, a 9-3 loss

By JEFF BERLINICKE
Associated Press
  •  

LAKELAND, Fla. (AP) Aaron Harang made his Atlanta Braves debut, allowing six runs, including a long homer to Miguel Cabrera, while pitching into the sixth inning of a 9-3 loss to the Detroit Tigers on Thursday.

Harang, who won 16 games in 2006 and `07, was signed by the Braves on March 24 after spending the start of spring training with the Cleveland Indians. He allowed eight hits in 5 2-3 innings.

''I have my stuff together and I know how it is going to go,'' Harang said. ''I really wanted a chance to pitch to (Braves catcher) Evan Gattis. I've been feeling good and I just wanted to get my pitch count up. That's what I wanted to do all spring.''

Max Scherzer made his final start of the spring for the Tigers and went 6 2-3 innings, giving up homers to Jordan Schafer and B.J. Upton.

Tigers shortstop Alex Gonzalez, who was acquired from the Baltimore Orioles on Monday, went 2 for 3 with a double to raise his spring batting average to .441.

STARTING TIME:

Braves: Manager Fredi Gonzalez said he was fine with Harang's effort. The Braves are in serious need of starting pitching after losing Brandon Beachy and Kris Medlen for the season as they each have Tommy John surgery for the second time. Mike Minor is out for the first month and the Braves released Freddy Garcia on Monday. Erwin Santana was signed March 12 to join a staff with only Alex Wood and Julio Teheran as remaining starters.

Tigers: Scherzer was applauded warmly by the Lakeland crowd after being removed with two outs in the seventh. Scherzer and the Tigers have cut off discussions on a new contract and Scherzer said he wasn't happy with the way the news was released but said he sat down with General Manager Dave Dombrowski and things were fine between them.

''The Tigers fans care a lot about us,'' Scherzer said. ''I have a lot of fans. My decision (to not negotiate during the season) was my decision, but we are all doing our job.''

Scherzer said that he wasn't going to relax after last year's 21-win season that earned him his first Cy Young Award.

''I might not have the same stats this year,'' Scherzer said. ''But I think I am a better pitcher.''

TRAINER'S ROOM

Braves: RHP Cory Gearrin, who left his outing on Tuesday with a right elbow strain, was headed back to Atlanta for further evaluation.

Tigers: Outfielder Rajai Davis made his longest appearance since pulling a hamstring March 16. He went 0 for 4 with a strikeout in seven innings. ... Outfielder Andy Dirks is still out indefinitely after undergoing lower back surgery. Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said Dirks will not being going north with the team and will stain in Lakeland for rehab. ... Outfielder Don Kelly is recovering from his left hamstring injury and is expected to play in a minor league game in Lakeland on Friday.

OUTTA HERE

Cabrera's home run off of Harang would have cleared the berm that runs beyond the left field fence at Joker Marchant Stadium if a fan didn't make an overhead catch at the top of the berm. Harang said the homer came on a changeup and that he had also given up a long homer to Cabrera last season when Harang pitched for Seattle.

OFF TO A GOOD START

The Braves had to be concerned with Dan Uggla and B.J. Upton, both of whom had difficult seasons at the plate last year. Upton, who came from Tampa Bay as a free agent, batted only .184, and Uggla hit .179. This spring, Upton is batting .267 and his homer off Scherzer was his first of the spring. Uggla is batting .269 with four homers.

''I like what I am seeing from both of them,'' Gonzalez said. ''They are hitting the baseball and we are getting a lot out of them.''

 
Copyright 2015 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
 
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Players of the Game
Atlanta

J. Schafer
AB 3
R 2
H 1
HR 1
RBI 1
Detroit

M. Cabrera
AB 3
R 1
H 1
HR 1
RBI 3
 

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Atlanta Braves
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Jason Heyward, DH2010001 .323
   a-Gerald Laird, PH-DH2000020 .154
B.J. Upton, CF2111111 .267
   Tyler Pastornicky, CF-2B1000010 .385
Freddie Freeman, 1B2001011 .368
   Phil Gosselin, 3B1000000 .357
Chris Johnson, 3B3000012 .265
   Steven Lerud, C1000000 .423
Ryan Doumit, RF3010000 .289
   Robert Hefflinger, RF1000010 .000
Dan Uggla, 2B2000111 .269
   Cedric Hunter, PR-LF1000000 .750
Evan Gattis, C3000012 .204
   Seth Loman, 1B1000000 .000
Andrelton Simmons, SS3000001 .254
   Sean Kazmar, SS0000000 .143
Jordan Schafer, LF-CF3211000 .246
   Cody Livesay, CF0000000 .000
Aaron Harang, P0000000 .000
   Anthony Varvaro, P0000000 .000
   Ian Thomas, P0000000 .000
   Craig Kimbrel, P0000000 .000
   Chasen Shreve, P0000000 .000
Totals3134329  
a-struck out for Heyward in the 5th
Batting
2B - Ryan Doumit (5, Scherzer)
HR - B.J. Upton (1, Scherzer), Jordan Schafer (1, Scherzer)
SF - Freddie Freeman (1)
RBI - B.J. Upton (4), Freddie Freeman (9), Jordan Schafer (5)
2-OUT RBI - B.J. Upton (2)
SB - Jordan Schafer (3, 2nd base off Scherzer/Holaday)
Team LOB - 4
Fielding
E - Phil Gosselin (3, Misplayed grounder), Jordan Schafer (1, Misplayed grounder)
Atlanta Braves
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Aaron Harang (L,2-1) 5.2866121 4.91
Anthony Varvaro 1211000 9.82
Ian Thomas 0.1000000 2.61
Craig Kimbrel 0.2222100 3.86
Chasen Shreve 0.1100000 0.00
WP - Aaron Harang (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Aaron Harang 36-31, Anthony Varvaro 5-5, Ian Thomas 1-1, Craig Kimbrel 8-4, Chasen Shreve 3-3
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Aaron Harang 6-10, Anthony Varvaro 3-0, Ian Thomas 1-0, Craig Kimbrel 1-1, Chasen Shreve 1-1
Batters Faced - Aaron Harang 27, Anthony Varvaro 5, Ian Thomas 1, Craig Kimbrel 5, Chasen Shreve 3
Detroit Tigers
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Rajai Davis, LF4000011 .325
   Raphael Rhymes, RF1000000 .333
Ian Kinsler, 2B3110002 .281
   Curt Powell, 2B2012000 .500
Miguel Cabrera, 1B3113001 .353
   Aaron Westlake, 1B2010000 .167
Victor Martinez, DH3021000 .300
   a-Andrew Romine, PH-DH2110000 .231
Torii Hunter, RF3010001 .347
   Tyler Collins, RF-LF2011003 .250
Austin Jackson, CF3100012 .415
   Ezequiel Carrera, CF1000001 .205
Nick Castellanos, 3B3000003 .350
   Wade Gaynor, 3B1000000 .000
Bryan Holaday, C3320100 .250
Alex Gonzalez, SS3221100 .441
Max Scherzer, P0000000 .000
   Joe Nathan, P0000000 .000
   Corey Knebel, P0000000 .000
Totals39913822  
a-singled for Martinez in the 7th
Batting
2B - Ian Kinsler (5, Harang), Alex Gonzalez (2, Harang)
3B - Tyler Collins (3, Varvaro)
HR - Miguel Cabrera (4, Harang)
RBI - Curt Powell 2 (2), Miguel Cabrera 3 (12), Victor Martinez (10), Tyler Collins (8), Alex Gonzalez (8)
2-OUT RBI - Curt Powell 2 (2), Miguel Cabrera 3 (6), Victor Martinez (1), Tyler Collins (1), Alex Gonzalez (5)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
E - Alex Gonzalez (1, Misplayed grounder)
Detroit Tigers
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Max Scherzer (W,4-2) 6.2432262 3.71
Joe Nathan (H,3) 1.1000020 4.70
Corey Knebel 1000010 0.00
Pitches-Strikes - Max Scherzer 50-38, Joe Nathan 8-8, Corey Knebel 5-5
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Max Scherzer 6-9, Joe Nathan 1-1
Batters Faced - Max Scherzer 27, Joe Nathan 4, Corey Knebel 3
Game Information
Attendance - 6993
Game Time - 2:47
Temperature - 65
Umpires - Home - Manny Gonzalez, First Base - Laz Diaz, Second Base - Jeff Gosney, Third Base - Jerry Layne