Braves getting first-hand look at what Garcia can do
Fredi hopes to get 30-year-old rookie in the lineup more after past two days, including decisive HR
ST. LOUIS -- Fredi Gonzalez didn't know a lot about Adonis Garcia beyond what Triple-A Gwinnett manager Brian Snitker told him of the 30-year-old's plate prowess.
Now the Braves manager has seen it first-hand.
Making his second Major League start since a callup Saturday, Garcia lifted the Braves to a 3-2 win over the Cardinals at Busch Stadium on Sunday. The rookie's sixth-inning solo home run to right field off All-Star Michael Wacha stood as the difference in the game.
"I'm twice as happy now that I hit a home run," Garcia said through a translator. "I accomplished my dream by getting up here to the big leagues, and I'm just happy that I was able to help the team win as well."
Said Gonzalez: "To drive a ball out of the ballpark, especially in this ballpark, which is a fair ballpark, into the right-field bullpen, that's some pop."
The Cuban-born third baseman, who signed a Minor League deal with Atlanta before the season, also made some nice plays at third base, including a diving stop and throw across the diamond to retire Tony Cruz with runners on base in the fourth.
Gonazlez likes what he's seen of Garcia now that the sample size is growing. The rookie had a two-game stint with Atlanta on May 19-20, when he made two plate appearances (a strikeout and a walk).
"He's got seven or eight at-bats in the big leagues, but I like the at-bats he's given us," Gonzalez. "He's made some nice plays at third base, so that's a nice addition. We've got to find a way to keep him in the lineup somehow."