Pirates, Braves halted early

Pirates, Braves halted early

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- With Mother Nature providing a short window of opportunity, the Braves and Pirates at least attempted to be the only Major League clubs to play in Florida on Friday. But rain forced this Grapefruit League contest to be halted after three innings.

Pirates shortstop Ronny Cedeno's third-inning RBI double off Jo-Jo Reyes accounted for the only run scored during this three-inning span. The afternoon's most important development came courtesy of Braves right-hander Jair Jurrjens, who had the opportunity to complete his scheduled two innings before rain forced the game to be delayed for a third and final time.

"We made the best of a real bad day," said Braves manager Bobby Cox, who saw rain cause a 30-minute delay before the start of the game.

Jurrjens, who was slowed at the start of camp because of right shoulder inflammation, had his scheduled debut rained out on Thursday night in Tampa, Fla. But the 24-year-old right-hander didn't show any rust as he started this contest by getting Andrew McCutchen to look at three straight strikes.

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After Jurrjens limited the Pirates to one hit -- Ryan Doumit's second-inning leadoff single -- in two innings, Pirates starter Ross Ohlendorf found his afternoon halted in a rather painful manner. Just before rain forced the first in-game delay, Ohlendorf was struck on the back of his right leg, just above his knee.

Ohlendorf, who was charged with two hits and one walk in 1 1/3 innings, would have been able to continue pitching had the game not been halted moments later.

"Saved a hit," Ohlendorf joked while explaining that he felt he had pitched better than he had during his previous start.

Because Tommy Hanson was already warmed up, the Braves opted to have him simulate his scheduled four innings during the first rain delay. This prompted the early entry of Reyes, who got into trouble after allowing Pirates right-hander Brian Bass to deliver a one-out single in the third inning.

Bass advanced on a McCutchen single and then jogged home on Cedeno's double.

The Pirates arrived at ESPN's Wide World of Sports complex at noon ET and began their two-hour trip back to Bradenton, Fla., after play was officially halted around 3:45 p.m.

Up Next: With rain limiting them to three innings the past two days, the Braves should have most of their regulars in the lineup on Saturday afternoon when they return to Disney to host the Blue Jays at 1:05 p.m. ET. Tim Hudson will be scheduled to work four innings while making his third start of the exhibition season. Entering this game against his former team, Troy Glaus has reached safely in each of his past 11 plate appearances (eight hits and three walks).

The Pirates will travel to Fort Myers, Fla., on Saturday afternoon to face the Red Sox at 1:05 p.m. ET. Paul Maholm will be making his third start of the exhibition season. He surrendered two earned runs and three hits in two innings against the Yankees on Tuesday. Brad Lincoln, D.J. Carrasco, Vinnie Chulk and Jack Taschner are scheduled to serve as the relievers. The club may also try to mix in Steven Jackson and Javier Lopez, who had been scheduled to pitch against the Braves on Friday.

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