Francisco turns in impressive at-bats

LAKELAND, Fla. -- Braves third baseman Juan Francisco displayed his tremendous power with a three-run home run that sailed over the right-center-field scoreboard during the first inning of Wednesday's 5-3 win over the Tigers. But the pull-happy Francisco's more impressive at-bat might have come in the third inning, when he laced an opposite-field double to left-center field.

"He hit that ball a long way and it went out really, really quick," manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "You don't see that combination very often. He's been having some good at-bats in the last two or three games that he has played. Not only that, he has also been playing some good games defensively."

The Braves are open to the possibility of entering the season with Francisco and the right-handed-hitting Chris Johnson platooning at third base. But Gonzalez has said both players will have a chance to win the everyday role during Spring Training.

Francisco, who has more upside than Johnson, has recorded four hits in his first 12 at-bats of the Grapefruit League season.

"He's a good hitter," Gonzalez said. "Hopefully he gets a good opportunity to give it a shot and does what he can do."