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Gattis hits first spring homer in win over Marlins

JUPITER, Fla. -- Henderson Alvarez made a mistake, and Evan Gattis made him pay.

Gattis' fourth-inning home run helped the Braves edge the Marlins, 3-1, on Wednesday afternoon at Roger Dean Stadium. The blast was the Atlanta catcher's first in Grapefruit League play.

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Braves right-hander Yunesky Maya threw three shutout innings, scattering three hits. Maya is vying for a long-relief role.

Making his second Grapefruit League start, Alvarez came off three perfect innings against the Cardinals. And the right-hander was breezing through his first three innings on Wednesday before he surrendered a one-out home run to Gattis. The no-doubt blast to left came on the first pitch, and it put Atlanta in front.

Alvarez capped Miami's 2013 season by throwing a no-hitter against the Tigers. He followed that up with three perfect innings in Grapefruit League play, before he allowed a one-out single to B.J. Upton in the first inning. Alvarez then picked Upton off first base.

In the bottom of the first inning, Adeiny Hechavarria dropped a bunt single off Yunesky Maya. But Hechavarria was picked off first.

Alvarez's afternoon was over after 3 2/3 innings and 54 pitches. He allowed one run on five hits with one strikeout.

Ryan Buchter had an impressive perfect inning in the fourth inning for Atlanta, striking out Giancarlo Stanton and Garrett Jones. David Carpenter tossed a scoreless fifth inning, working around a two-out hit-by-pitch to Reed Johnson.

"With the split squad, we had to bring Maya over, and he did a nice job," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "Buchter, he continues, his last two or three outings, he continued to come in and be impressive, especially to left-handed hitters. Carpenter did what he what he's supposed to do."

The Marlins threatened in the sixth inning, putting runners on first and third off Hector Daniel Rodriguez. But the lefty got out of it by striking out Jones and Jarrod Saltalamacchia.

Marlins closer Steve Cishek allowed a pair of runs in the eighth on a Jose Constanza sacrifice bunt and a Steven Lerud RBI single.

Miami catcher Rob Brantly broke up the shutout with a two-out homer in the bottom of the ninth.

Up next: The Braves will send Freddy Garcia to the mound to face the Cardinals on Thursday at 1:05 p.m. ET in Jupiter. Garcia will be attempting to complete four innings and bounce back from the rough outing he experienced against the Marlins on Saturday while his wife was in labor. After working five perfect innings in his first two Grapefruit League season starts, Garcia allowed the Marlins six earned runs in just 2 2/3 innings. Still, with Kris Medlen, Brandon Beachy and Mike Minor all likely to begin the season on the disabled list, Garcia seems to be a lock for a rotation spot.

Joe Frisaro is a reporter for He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro.

Atlanta Braves, Jose Constanza, Evan Gattis, Yunesky Maya