Polanco impresses as Ruiz returns

Polanco impresses as Ruiz returns

BRAVES 8, PHILLIES 0
at Lake Buena Vista, Fla.
Wednesday, March 24

Phillies at the plate: Placido Polanco highlighted his two-hit performance with a fourth-inning double that accounted for the only extra-base hit Tim Hudson surrendered in his six-inning effort. Jimmy Rollins' leadoff single served as one of the only other offensive bright spots for the defending National League champs.

Braves at the plate: Brian McCann's three-hit afternoon included a pair of homers and three RBIs that came at the expense of left-hander J.A. Happ. The All-Star catcher began the bottom of the second with a shot over the right-field wall and then knocked the next pitch he saw from Happ over the right-center-field wall. These two homers stood as half the total he hit off of left-handed pitchers all of last year.

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Phillies on the mound: McCann's power brought an end to the previous success enjoyed by Happ, who had not allowed a run in the previous 6 1/3 innings he had completed this spring. The Phillies southpaw, who also surrendered a fifth-inning solo shot to Martin Prado, was charged with four earned runs and six hits in five innings. He allowed a total of six runs in the 19 2/3 innings he completed against the Braves last year.

Braves on the mound: Hudson provided his strongest outing of the year while allowing just three hits over six scoreless innings. The veteran right-hander notched four strikeouts, issued just two walks and recorded nine ground-ball outs. Takashi Saito pitched around a walk while not allowing a run or hit in his one inning.

Worth noting: Jason Heyward was retired during his first two plate appearances to run his hitless streak to nine at-bats. But the 20-year-old, who is projected to serve as Atlanta's starting right fielder, singled in his final two at-bats to improve his batting average to .378. ... Carlos Ruiz went 0-for-2 with a walk in his return to the lineup from the flu.

Grapefruit League records: Phillies 10-8-1; Braves 12-7-1

Up next: Kenshin Kawakami will oppose Charlie Morton when the Braves travel to Bradenton, Fla., on Thursday afternoon to play the Pirates at 1:05 p.m. ET. Kawakami has been working to find more consistent command with the two-seam fastball he began throwing during the second half of the 2009 season. Jesse Chavez, who made 73 appearances for Pittsburgh last year, will face his former teammates and attempt to improve his bid to win one of the remaining spots in Atlanta's bullpen.

Kyle Kendrick continues his competition with Jamie Moyer to be the Phillies' fifth starter at 1:05 p.m. Thursday against the Astros at Bright House Field. He faces former Philadelphia right-hander Brett Myers. Kendrick has a 1.29 ERA in four Grapefruit League appearances. Moyer has a 3.86 ERA in four spring appearances, which include three "B" games. Right-hander Roy Halladay is scheduled to pitch in a Minor League Spring Training game at the Carpenter Complex.

Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.