Braves ride Uggla, Prado to win over Mets

Braves ride Uggla, Prado to win over Mets

Braves ride Uggla, Prado to win over Mets
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Dan Uggla highlighted a three-hit day by victimizing Miguel Batista with a two-run, fifth-inning home run that gave the Braves a lead they would keep on the way to claiming a 9-4 win over the Mets at Champion Stadium on Friday.

Uggla's leadoff double off Mets starter Jonathon Niese sparked a two-run fourth inning that allowed the Braves to briefly regain the lead they had taken after Michael Bourn and Martin Prado began the bottom of the first inning with consecutive triples.

Prado added a second triple after Bourn doubled off Batista in a two-run sixth inning. Vinny Rottino, Josh Thole and Mike Baxter keyed the Mets' offensive attack with two-hit performances. Rottino drove in a run, Thole scored twice and Baxter drove in two runs.

Braves starting pitcher Mike Minor recovered from some second-inning struggles and seemed to be in command before reaching his pitch limit while issuing a two-out, fifth-inning walk to Lucas May. Anthony Varvaro entered in relief and allowed the Mets to tie the game with a pair of runs. He allowed three singles and issued a walk within a span of four plate appearances.

Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy walked and scored in the first inning, when Prado dropped Lucas Duda's two-out fly ball after carrying it into foul territory and crashing into the waist-high bullpen wall. This marked the first run surrendered by Minor, who had combined for 14 scoreless innings in his first four exhibition starts.

Niese, who had surrendered runs in just one of his previous three starts, allowed four earned runs and four hits in four innings. The only baserunner he allowed over the second and third innings came courtesy of shortstop Ruben Tejada's inability to field Bourn's sharp ground ball in the third.

Up next: The Braves will send Randall Delgado to the mound on Saturday to face the Blue Jays in Dunedin, Fla., at 1:05 p.m. ET. Delgado seems to be ahead of Julio Teheran in the battle to win the final spot in the rotation. Teheran will start a Minor League game on Saturday.

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