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After start, Garcia tends to wife in labor

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Freddy Garcia was not able to stick around to discuss his struggles on Saturday against the Marlins. But an explanation was provided when the Braves revealed the 37-year-old veteran had immediately left Champion Stadium after his start to be with his wife, who was in labor at a Miami-area hospital.

"That would distract me," said Braves bench coach Carlos Tosca, who served as the manager for the split-squad team that played the Marlins in a 6-6 tie before both teams agreed to end the game after nine innings.

Garcia surrendered six hits, issued four walks and was charged with six earned runs in just 2 2/3 innings.

Casey McGehee's leadoff home run accounted for the first of the four hits the Marlins notched in the second inning. Garcia walked four of the first six batters he faced in the third before exiting after Rob Brantly dented the right-center-field wall with a three-run double.

While Garcia's frustrating outing certainly did not strengthen his bid to win a spot in Atlanta's bullpen or starting rotation, it also did not necessarily destroy it. Taking into account the surrounding circumstances, the Braves have a pretty good understanding of what to expect from Garcia, who could add depth to their 'pen and make an occasional start during the regular season.

"He is what he is," Tosca said. "He's going to have days like that."

Mark Bowman is a reporter for
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