Ronald Acuna hit his fourth home run of the spring while Sean Newcomb turned in another solid performance on the mound but the Atlanta Braves dropped a pair of games in split squad action on Saturday.
Newcomb pitched in and out of trouble in a 3-0 loss to the Cardinals at Champion Stadium. He allowed five hits and three walks but just one earned run over 4.2 innings. He struck out three giving him 15 in 15.1 innings to go along with five walks.
Atlanta was only able to generate one hit against St. Louis pitching, a first inning single by Freddie Freeman. Luke Weaver struck out six over 4.1 while five relievers combined for 4.2 hitless innings.
Peter Moylan was tagged for three hits and two runs in his one inning appearance. Sam Freeman and Daniel Winkler worked scoreless frames in a losing effort.
Ender Inciarte returned to the lineup after sitting out with a sore groin. He went 0-for-3 at the plate with a walk but appeared to be moving well and healthy.
Over in Clearwater, Acuna put the Braves on the board early with a two-run bomb to left center field but Atlanta came up short in a 10-6 loss to the Phillies.
It was a rough outing for Lucas Sims who surrendered a lead-off home run to Carlos Santanaand was tagged for five hits and four earned runs over three plus innings.
Anyelo Gomez’s good start to the spring has evaporated over his last two appearances. Gomez relieved Sims and allowed four hits including a homer, five runs and two walks in one plus innings. He has allowed nine earned runs over his last two appearances.
Rio Ruiz had two hits including his second home run of the spring. Dansby Swanson went 2-for-3 at the plate. New addition Ezequiel Carrera went 1-for-4 at the plate and scored two runs.
The Braves will be back in action on Sunday against the Houston Astros.
By Kris Willis