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Solo homers lift Braves over Yankees


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at Tampa, Fla.

Saturday, March 7

Braves at the plate: Casey Kotchman put Atlanta on the board in the top of the first inning, belting his first home run of the Grapefruit League season into the right-field picnic area for a solo shot. Greg Norton belted a one-out solo homer, his second of the spring season, in the sixth inning, and Brandon Jones hit another solo shot in the seventh. Yunel Escobar had two hits.

Yankees at the plate: Justin Leone drove a run-scoring single into left field with two outs in the fourth inning, bringing home Mark Teixeira with New York's first run. Hideki Matsui went 1-for-2 as the designated hitter in his second game since returning to action with a surgically repaired left knee.

Braves on the mound: Right-hander Jair Jurrjens worked 3 2/3 innings of one-run ball, allowing four hits while walking none and striking out three. Jurrjens left two runners aboard for reliever Buddy Carlyle, who allowed one to score, and threw 64 pitches (41 strikes). Kris Medlen sent the Yankees down in order in the sixth.

Yankees on the mound: Making his first start of the Grapefruit League season, right-hander Chien-Ming Wang worked three innings of one-run ball, scattering three hits while walking none and striking out two. Wang threw 33 pitches (27 strikes) but drew Dave Eiland to the mound for a visit in the third inning. Brett Tomko continued his early pitch toward a long-relief role, pitching three innings of one-run ball while striking out three.

Grapefruit League records: Yankees (3-5-1); Braves (6-2)

Up next: The Braves will be back at Champion Stadium on Sunday afternoon, facing off with the Phillies in a 1:05 p.m. ET start. Right-hander Tommy Hanson will draw the start for Atlanta, with righty Joe Blanton countering for Philadelphia.

The Yankees will be on the road to play the Tigers on Sunday afternoon, venturing to Lakeland, Fla., and Joker Marchant Stadium. Righty A.J. Burnett will make his Grapefruit League debut in the 1:05 p.m. start, with left-hander Nate Robertson starting for Detroit.

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