Carpenter submits sharpest effort of spring

Carpenter submits sharpest effort of spring

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez was pleased with all his pitchers after Wednesday's 2-2 tie with the Phillies at Bright House Field. And understandably so, as Brandon Beachy and five relievers combined to allow only five hits and one walk while striking out seven.

One of those relievers was right-hander David Carpenter, who put together his sharpest performance of the spring in a perfect eighth inning with two strikeouts. Coming off a breakthrough season with the Braves in 2013, Carpenter induced a quick groundout to first base before striking out Kelly Dugan swinging and Darin Ruf looking.

"Felt good. Went out there and was able to execute pitches, just stuff that [pitching coach Roger McDowell] and I worked on in the bullpen the other day," Carpenter said. "I was able to take it out there in the game. That's always a good sign, especially with being able to command stuff and execute it. That's the name of the game."

Carpenter added that he was "definitely" pleased with how he's feeling at this point of the spring, as he's mostly been working on refining his fastball command, slider and splitter.

"Just trying to give myself a chance to use it a little bit more in games," Carpenter said. "Just kind of keeping that feel, going touch and feel with being able to go out there and confident enough to use it in a game."

Adam Berry is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.