Braves beat Future Stars with pop in Mississippi

By Brandon Speck/NEMS Daily Journal

PEARL – The Atlanta Braves showed the pop its new lineup has promised Saturday in a 10-0 win against the franchise’s future stars.

The big league team’s final spring exhibition took place in front of a record 8,217 fans at Double-A Mississippi’s Trustmark Park in Pearl, a crowd treated to three long balls, including a monstrous shot from Evan Gattis that cleared the stadium and landed in the left field parking lot.

“We swung the bats well — we played well,” Atlanta manager Fredi Gonzalez said. “We came out of it healthy, which is always a big concern, and guys got their at-bats.”

Future Stars manager Bobby Cox said his minor leaguers got plenty from the experience, especially a roster full of promising pitchers watching Mike Minor.

“It’s always good to watch Major League pitchers pitch,” Cox said. “Our guys were eyeballing him. That’s how you learn. Little bitty steps every year.”

Dan Uggla got it started with a 3-run bomb in the second, followed directly by a solo shot from Chris Johnson.

“All spring training you’re just working on your swing, trying to get it as consistent as possible,” Uggla said. “Then leading up to the season, that’s where you want to peak and feel your best, so hopefully I can hit the ground running.”

Minor allowed two leadoff single to the Future Stars and nothing else. He struck out two in four innings of work. Tim Hudson will open the season for Atlanta Monday against Philadelphia.

Jason Heyward drove in the game’s first run with a double in the first inning off Sean Gilmartin. Chris Johnson and Reed Johnson had RBI singles in the third.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

Click video to hear audio