Prospects help Braves blitz Ubaldo, Orioles

March 2nd, 2016

SARASOTA, Fla. -- The Braves struck early and often on Wednesday afternoon, chasing Orioles starter Ubaldo Jimenez after he recorded just one out in a seven-run first inning en route to a 11-4 Atlanta win.

Atlanta, which sent 12 batters to the plate in the first inning, was led by Mallex Smith, who tripled twice in the frame. Smith drove in three runs in the game, including one on a homer off Brian Matusz in the fifth. Another Braves prospect, Ozzie Albies had three hits, including a two-run double in the big first and a homer in the seventh, while top prospect Dansby Swanson -- who has been dealing with a stomach virus -- made his Grapefruit League debut at shortstop and went 0-for-5.

Jimenez allowed six hits and was charged with six runs, three of which scored after he exited the 34-pitch outing.

"It doesn't look pretty at all, but I think I feel good because my arm feels really good. I was able to work on the things I wanted to," Jimenez said. "Even before the game, I wanted to throw my changeup and my curve, and I started to throw my split and slider for today, and that's what I did. Actually, two of the hits they got were from changeups. Like I said, it wasn't pretty, but I felt good being on the mound and trying to get hitters out."

Braves starter Aaron Blair pitched two innings and allowed four runs on five hits.

"The first inning was effective. I was throwing pitches down in the zone getting ahead of the hitters," Blair said. "[The] second inning was [the] complete opposite, falling behind, leaving balls up in the zone, middle of the plate. Good hitters are going to take advantage and do what they did."

Chris Davis put the O's on the scoreboard with a second-inning home run to center field off Blair. Jonathan Schoop added a two-run shot in the frame. Orioles closer Zach Britton made his spring debut with a scoreless fourth inning.

Up next for Braves: Lefty Sean Newcomb will take the ball on Thursday at Champion Stadium when the Braves host the Tigers at 1:05 p.m. ET. The 22-year-old fireballer, acquired in the November trade that sent shortstop Andrelton Simmons to the Angels, is the No. 2 prospect in the Braves' organization. He went 9-3 with a 2.38 ERA in 27 Minor League starts in 2015.

Up next for Orioles:Miguel Gonzalez will make his Grapefruit League debut opposite Rays righty Erasmo Ramirez in a 1:05 p.m. ET game in Port Charlotte, Fla. Thursday's contest is part of a four-game stretch in which the O's play three road games.