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Medlen starts slow, finishes strong vs. Blue Jays

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Anthony Gose highlighted his three-hit performance with a two-run home run, and Josh Johnson displayed his dominant form while helping the Blue Jays claim a 7-1 win over the Braves at Champion Stadium on Friday afternoon.

Gose's two-run home run off Kris Medlen in the third inning proved decisive for the Blue Jays, who also received multihit performances from Rajai Davis and Ryan Langerhans.

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Davis produced an RBI single in the two-run fifth inning against David Hale and then damaged the right-handed-pitching prospect again with an RBI triple in the seventh. Langerhans, a former Braves outfielder, delivered an RBI single after Gose singled to begin the game and stole second base.

Johnson recorded five strikeouts and proved perfect while completing 3 2/3 innings in his first start of the spring. The big right-hander, who had followed R.A. Dickey in his two previous appearances, was scheduled to pitch three innings. But because he was so efficient through the first three innings, he was permitted to remain in the game long enough to begin the fourth inning with consecutive strikeouts against Jason Heyward and Jordan Parraz.

"Finally got to make a start, get a routine and remember that routine first of all," Johnson said. "I had to think about it quite a bit but I felt good out there. I was able to slow down, take my time and get everything late. Stay back in my delivery, let everything come natural."

Medlen allowed three earned runs and five hits while throwing 49 pitches over four innings. The right-hander retired each of the final five batters he faced after allowing Gose's home run in the third inning. He escaped the second inning unscathed after Luis Jimenez opened the frame with a ground-rule double.

The Braves recorded just two hits and their only run came after B.J. Upton opened the bottom of the fifth with a single. Upton stole second base and advanced to third when catcher Mike Nickeas' throw sailed into center field. Blake DeWitt followed with an RBI groundout.

Up next for the Braves: Mike Minor will make his third start when the Braves travel to Tampa, Fla., on Saturday to play the Yankees at 1:05 p.m. ET. Building off of last year's late-season success, Minor has allowed two runs through his first five innings this spring. Freddie Freeman and Dan Uggla are among the position players scheduled to make the trip and be part of the spring debut of Yankees closer Mariano Rivera. The game will be broadcast in Atlanta on 680 The Fan and 93.7 FM.

Mark Bowman is a reporter for

Atlanta Braves, Kris Medlen