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Vazquez perfect, Braves win


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at Turner Field

Friday, April 3

Tigers at the plate: The Tigers managed only five hits, and did not get their first hit until Curtis Granderson hit his team-leading fifth double of the spring with two out in the sixth.

Braves at the plate: The Braves managed only four hits, but grouped them all in a three-run fourth. Starting in place of Chipper Jones, Omar Infante blasted his second homer of the spring, a two-run shot to give Atlanta a 2-0 lead. A Garret Anderson single, Jeff Francoeur double and RBI groundout from Casey Kotchman scored the final run of the inning. Yunel Escobar left the game in the first inning with a bruised right bicep, suffered when he was hit by a pickoff throw by Detroit starter Zach Miner while diving back into first base.

Tigers on the mound: Miner made his longest start of the spring, going 4 2/3 innings, allowing four hits and three runs, including the two-run homer to Infante, his fourth homer allowed this spring. The bullpen did a superb job, as relievers Bobby Seay, Ryan Perry, Brandon Lyon and Juan Rincon retired all 10 batters they faced.

Braves on the mound: Javier Vazquez looked very sharp, throwing four perfect innings. Vazquez struck out four and threw 40 pitches, 30 for strikes. Closer Mike Gonzalez threw a scoreless inning, striking out one and walking one. Jeff Bennett added a scoreless frame, while Buddy Carlyle allowed one run on two hits in his inning of work.

Up next: Japanese sensation Kenshin Kawakami makes his Turner Field debut Saturday at 1:10 p.m. ET as the Braves face the Tigers in another exhibition. Kawakami is looking to roll into the regular season by continuing his current streak that has seen him allow only four earned runs over his past three starts, covering 15 2/3 innings (a 2.29 ERA). Braves fans also will get their last look -- for now -- at Tommy Hanson. Hanson, who allowed four earned runs in 14 2/3 innings (a 2.45 ERA) with 14 strikeouts this spring, will begin the season in Triple-A Gwinnett.

Jon Cooper is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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I think Vazquez will have better stats than Lowe this year. I think moving from the AL to the NL will do wonders for him. Plus you add the fact that he's playing under Bobby Cox who I've always thought would be a good combination. Hope to see more of this in the future. Vasquez hasn't disappointed this offseason. And he's always had the 'stuff'. Hopefully he'll live up to the hype this year.

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