LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Bartolo Colon completed three strong innings and Nick Markakis recorded his first multi-hit game of the spring as the Braves claimed a 3-2 win over the Phillies on Wednesday afternoon at ESPN's Wide World of Sports complex.
Micah Johnson's two-out RBI triple off Mark Appel in the seventh inning proved to be decisive for the Braves, who saw Colon allow one run and record three strikeouts during his 47-pitch, three-inning effort. Highly-regarded pitching prospect Sean Newcomb aided Atlanta's efforts as he struck out four of the seven batters faced over two scoreless innings.
Markakis capped his first multi-hit game of the spring with his fourth-inning opposite-field double that found its way into the left-field corner, allowing both Johnson and Brandon Phillips to score. The extra-base hit accounted for the only runs allowed by Jeremy Hellickson, who surrendered five hits as he delivered 58 pitches over four innings.
Making his third start of the Grapefruit League season, Colon walked Cesar Hernandez to begin the game and then surrendered a Freddy Galvis single that slipped through the right side of the infield. Maikel Franco scored Hernandez with an RBI groundout off the Braves' 43-year-old right-hander, who retired nine of the final 10 batters he faced.
"He's starting to use the middle of the field more," Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said about Franco. "If he continues to do that he's going to be real successful. One hundred RBIs are the benchmark. Those are the kind of RBIs that are easy to get with the infield back."
Hellickson pitched around consecutive one-out singles by Phillips and Markakis in the first inning and produced a perfect second inning. But he found trouble after Johnson enhanced his bid for an Opening Day roster spot by beginning his two-hit game with a leadoff single in the third inning.
Colon will have four more exhibition starts before beginning what will be his 20th Major League season. He has allowed four earned runs over the eight innings completed within his first three starts.
"I think I still need to complete one more outing to get to where I feel I need to be [for the regular season]," Colon said through an interpreter. "But I feel good."
Phillies Up Next: After spending the past two days in Lakeland and Lake Buena Vista, the Phillies head back to Clearwater to host the Blue Jays at 1:05 p.m ET Thursday in a Grapefruit League game at Spectrum Field on MLB.TV. Right-hander Jerad Eickhoff (0-0, 5.40 ERA) makes his third start of the spring. He is lined up to start the second game of the regular season April 5 in Cincinnati.
Braves Up Next: Ozzie Albies will make his spring debut when the Braves host the Yankees on Thursday at 1:05 p.m. ET on Gameday Audio. Albies, who ranks as baseball's 10th-best prospect per MLBPipeline, will start at second base as he plays his first game since fracturing his right elbow in September. Aaron Blair will make his second start of the spring for Atlanta. The 24-year-old right-hander went 2-7 with a 7.59 ERA in 15 starts last season after making his Major League debut in April. Matt Kemp and Markakis are expected to be in Atlanta's lineup.
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