Beachy Can’t Find the Sun in Lakeland

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By Christine Roy — 03/07/12
The Atlanta Braves can’t seem to figure out the Detroit Tigers. In their two previous matchups this spring, the Braves have lost by a combined score of 20-3. Today’s 5-1 loss only added to their troubles.
Today things seemed to get off to a better start for the Braves. That’s because Tigers’ starter Jacob Turner got into a bases-loaded jam in the first inning. But he was able to get out of the inning without giving up a run. But Turner’s day was over halfway through the next inning.
The Braves sent Brandon Beachy to the mound and he was dominant right away, starting the game with a 1-2-3 first inning. But that dominance was short-lived. In the second, Beachy gave up back-to-back walks to Delmon Young and Alex Avila. Ryan Strieby drove in Young with a base hit past the reach of second baseman Dan Uggla. That put Detroit up 1-0.
Beachy’s outing only went downhill from there. Ryan Raburn tripled over the head of centerfielder Michael Bourn, which drove in Avila and Strieby to give the Tigers a three run lead. Ramon Santiago was up next and he hit a sacrifice fly to left field, which gave the Tigers a 4-0 advantage. Beachy was pulled after the second inning after giving up three hits, two walks, and four earned runs.
Jairo Ascencio replaced Beachy but he struggled too. The first batter he faced was Miguel Cabrera, and on a 1-1 pitch, Cabrera drilled a solo home run over the lawn beyond the left field fence. It was one of the longest home runs of the spring.
The Tigers didn’t score after that, but they didn’t need more runs. The Braves added to the scoreboard in the seventh inning when Drew Sutton led off with a triple and scored on a J.C. Boscan groundout. But that’s all the offense they could muster.
Detroit reliever Joaquin Benoit and closer Jose Valverde combined for two scoreless innings to seal the victory.
The Braves are now 1-4 in the preseason, while the Tigers have won six straight. Tomorrow the Braves will head to Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota to take on the Baltimore Orioles for a 1:05 p.m. start. The Tigers will be on the road too, this time at Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte to play the Tampa Bay Rays. That game is also scheduled for a 1:05 p.m. first pitch.