LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Eric O'Flaherty might not have been graceful after fielding a swinging bunt during the sixth inning of the Braves' 12-3 win over the Cardinals on Tuesday at Champion Stadium. But the left-handed setup man certainly looked healthy while completing a scoreless inning in his Spring Training debut.
"It was exciting to be back out there to feel like I am part of the team again," said O'Flaherty, who was shut down during the early portion of Spring Training with a strained left groin.
O'Flaherty was tested as Adron Chambers began the sixth inning with a single up the middle, and Daniel Descalso followed with a soft single that trickled down the first-base line. After fielding the ball, the Braves reliever lost his footing on the wet grass and made an errant, off-balance throw that sailed just beyond the first-base bag.
"I'm just glad half the team was gone by the time I did it," he said. "Hopefully they won't go in the video room tomorrow to see it."
O'Flaherty used a strikeout of Allen Craig and some defensive assistance to prevent the Cardinals from scoring after putting runners on the corners with no outs. Catcher Gerald Laird blocked the plate to prevent Chambers from scoring on a delayed double steal. Center fielder Jordan Schafer ended the inning by racing to the warning track to make an over-the-shoulder catch of Ty Wigginton's long drive.
Aided by the week added to the spring slate because of the World Baseball Classic, O'Flaherty expects to appear in at least eight games before the start of the regular season. He has not appeared in more than 10 games before any of the past three seasons.
"We're here a long time this year and we've got a long time," O'Flaherty said. "So it's not going to really change anything."
Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.