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Colon feeling good after second start

Veteran remains questionable for World Baseball Classic
Special to MLB.com

JUPITER, Fla. -- In his second outing of Spring Training, right-hander Bartolo Colon worked a relatively efficient three innings in a 9-4 loss against the Cardinals on Thursday at Roger Dean Stadium.

He was effective for the most part, but gave up a couple of big hits that led to runs. Colon threw 35 pitches (24 for strikes) and retired nine of the 11 batters he faced and continues to work his way toward the start of the 2017 season.

JUPITER, Fla. -- In his second outing of Spring Training, right-hander Bartolo Colon worked a relatively efficient three innings in a 9-4 loss against the Cardinals on Thursday at Roger Dean Stadium.

He was effective for the most part, but gave up a couple of big hits that led to runs. Colon threw 35 pitches (24 for strikes) and retired nine of the 11 batters he faced and continues to work his way toward the start of the 2017 season.

"I felt good, that's the most important thing," Colon said following the outing. "As far as throwing the ball, I was putting it where I wanted to, so that felt good, too."

Colon breezed through an efficient 10-pitch first inning, retiring the Cards in order. He retired the first four batters he faced before delivering an 0-1 pitch -- a four-seam fastball on the outside corner -- to Cards first baseman Matt Adams, who blasted the offering for his first home run of the spring. It was a drive that cleared the fence just to the left of the 400-foot sign in left-center field.

"He just hit a good pitch off me," Colon said. "He's always been a good hitter off me. He just got a hold of that one."

But Colon minimized the damage by retiring the next two batters in the second inning. However, he was nicked again in his final inning of work. A one-out triple and a sacrifice fly produced the Cards' second run off Colon, who induced five groundouts and four flyouts.

"I'm just continuing to prepare for the regular season," Colon said. "I feel good, that's the important thing."

The 43-year-old is beginning his 20th Major League season. The Braves will be his 11th big league club.

"I feel great, being here," Colon said. "In the short time that we've got to know each other, it's been a pleasure and we've gotten along really well. I'm just really happy to be a part of this team that we have here right now."

A four-time All-Star and 2005 American League Cy Young Award winner with the Angels, Colon pitched two innings in his first Grapefruit League outing for the Braves, yielding three hits and one earned run. He struck out one, and, like Thursday's outing, did not walk a batter.

Colon is still questionable for the World Baseball Classic. He originally indicated that he would wait until after the first round before making a decision to make himself available for his native Dominican Republic.

"It's more of a waiting game for me," he said. "I think I've just got to see how everything goes for me in Spring Training. My primary focus is just staying healthy. After that we'll see what happens."

Glenn Sattell is a contributor to MLB.com and covered the Braves on Thursday.

Atlanta Braves, Bartolo Colon