Wood continues to impress in Braves' winBy JEFF BERLINICKE , Associated Press
Mar. 12, 2014 6:28 PM ET
KISSIMMEE, Fla. (AP) — Alex Wood allowed an unearned run in four innings for the Atlanta Braves in a 3-2 win over the Washington Nationals on Wednesday in a game between split squads.
Wood went into spring training as the projected fifth starter in the Braves' rotation, but after injuries to Mike Minor, Kris Medlen, and Brandon Beachy that might keep them out for the start of the season, and in Medlen's case, likely much longer, Wood is becoming much more important.
He struck out two Wednesday and has not allowed an earned run in nine innings this spring.
To help fill Medlen's spot the Braves agreed Wednesday with Ervin Santana on a $14.1 million, one-year contract.
Chris Young allowed two runs in three innings in his latest effort to crack the Nationals' starting rotation. He spent all of last season in the minors. Young struck out three and allowed a home run to Freddie Freeman.
Nationals: Young has been battling arm injuries and has a 4.50 ERA as he tries to earn a job on a rotation that likely will include Stephen Strasburg, Gio Gonzalez, Doug Fister, Jordan Zimmerman and Ross Detwiler.
Braves: Wood was sharp once again in his longest outing of spring training. He knows he will be counted on at the start of the season because of the injuries. "No matter where I start, it has no effect in terms of my mentality," Wood said. "If you asked me at the start of spring training, I would tell you I was ready to go on opening day."
Wood said he feels fine as spring training reaches the halfway mark.
"I'm not trying to do anything special," he said. "We were playing the Nationals today, and I'll see them a lot this year, so I didn't want to give anything away. It's coming together."
Braves: Pitchers Gavin Floyd and Johnny Venters both threw bullpen sessions as they attempt to recover from elbow ligament-replacement surgery.
Braves: Freddy Garcia will start on Thursday against the St. Louis Cardinals. The veteran is looking for a chance at earning a spot in the Braves' rotation. He pitched briefly in Atlanta last season.
Nationals: The Nationals optioned LHP Felipe Rivero to Double-A Harrisburg and sent RHP A.J. Cole to minor league camp.
Braves: After hitting only three homers in its first 14 games, Atlanta has found some power. Freddie Freeman, who hit 23 homers last season, connected for his first of spring training on Wednesday. Dan Uggla has two in the past three games, and Jason Heyward has his three in the exhibition season.