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Sore hamstring forces Garcia's early exit, rest

MLB.com @mlbbowman

JUPITER, Fla. -- Adonis Garcia hasn't had any trouble finding comfort at the plate during the early portion of the Grapefruit League season. But the Braves third baseman will likely spend the next couple days resting the sore left hamstring that forced him to make an early exit from Saturday's 2-2 tie with the Cardinals at Roger Dean Stadium.

Garcia grounded out in the first inning against starter John Gant, then played third base during the bottom half of the inning. But he made his way toward the clubhouse with assistant trainer Jim Lovell during the second inning.

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JUPITER, Fla. -- Adonis Garcia hasn't had any trouble finding comfort at the plate during the early portion of the Grapefruit League season. But the Braves third baseman will likely spend the next couple days resting the sore left hamstring that forced him to make an early exit from Saturday's 2-2 tie with the Cardinals at Roger Dean Stadium.

Garcia grounded out in the first inning against starter John Gant, then played third base during the bottom half of the inning. But he made his way toward the clubhouse with assistant trainer Jim Lovell during the second inning.

View Full Game Coverage

"He was running pretty hard on that ground ball; It's just one of those things where it's better to be safe than sorry," Braves manager Brian Snitker said. "He'll be fine. If it was during the regular season, he probably keeps going. I want him to be smart like that because we have time."

Garcia has batted .333 (8-for-24) with a home run and a double through nine Grapefruit League games. He is slated to once again serve as Atlanta's primary third baseman, but there may be some instances where the Braves choose to sit him against tough right-handed pitchers.

Video: ATL@DET: A. Garcia drives in Swanson with a double

When Garcia made this precautionary exit, he was replaced by Rio Ruiz, an intriguing prospect who at some point this season might give the Braves confidence he would be capable of handling the third base position on an everyday basis. Ruiz is the currently the organization's No. 23 prospect, according to MLBPipeline.com.

Projected to begin this season with Triple-A Gwinnett, Ruiz has recorded six hits, including a home run and a double, through his first 27 at-bats this spring. The 22-year-old prospect made some offensive strides last year and has aided his ascent toward the Majors by dropping 30 pounds over the past two years.

Odds and ends
Paco Rodriguez once again provided the appearance he is healthy as he worked a scoreless inning during Saturday's game. Rodriguez hasn't pitched in nearly two years, but as he attempts to return from Tommy John surgery, he is the favorite to open the season as the lefty specialist in Atlanta's bullpen. He has retired the only two left-handed batters he's faced.

Video: ATL@STL: Rodriguez gets out of jam with key strikeout

Emilio Bonifacio aided his bid to win a bench spot as he went 1-for-3 and stole second and third base before scoring on Tyler Flowers' fourth-inning single on Saturday. Bonifacio has six hits, including a double and a home run, through his first 20 at-bats.

• Snitker was impressed with what he saw as Jose Ramirez showed off his powerful right arm while recording a pair of strikeouts during a scoreless inning against the Cardinals. Ramirez, who is out of options, has not allowed a hit or run in any of his past three innings.

Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001.

Atlanta Braves