3/23/2014 4:54 P.M. ET
Torres throws four solid innings in loss to Braves
By Mark Bowman / MLB.com
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- B.J. Upton notched his fifth multihit performance of the spring and Freddy Garcia seemingly solidified his spot in Atlanta's starting rotation while helping the Braves claim a 4-1 win over the Mets on Sunday afternoon at Champion Stadium.
Upton got the Braves rolling when he lined an opposite-field triple off the right-field wall with one out in the first inning. Chris Johnson scored Upton when he extended Mets starter Carlos Torres' early woes by bouncing a two-out double off the left-center-field wall.
The Braves have until Monday to determine whether Garcia will be on their Opening Day roster. But the 37-year-old right-hander seemed to erase any doubt as he limited the Mets to an unearned run and two hits over 5 1/3 innings. He is expected to fill the third spot in the four-man rotation Atlanta will use to begin the regular season.
Andrelton Simmons doubled and scored on Steven Lerud's two-out double in the fourth inning. But in the top half of the same inning, the sure-handed Simmons also allowed the Mets to tie the score when he bobbled a Josh Satin grounder as he was preparing to throw to third base in attempt to retire Juan Lagares. Kirk Nieuwenhuis followed with a one-out RBI groundout that scored Lagares, who had drawn a leadoff walk.
Justin Upton hit a sixth-inning solo home run off Mets reliever Joel Carreno, and Freddie Freeman further padded Atlanta's advantage with a seventh-inning RBI double that scored Jose Constanza from first base.
Torres allowed two runs on six hits while striking out four over four innings.
Up next: Daisuke Matsuzaka will make his final Grapefruit League start when the Mets host the Cardinals for a 1:10 p.m. ET game Monday on MLB.TV in Port St. Lucie. Matsuzaka is also in line for a tune-up start during one of the Mets' exhibition games against the Blue Jays next week in Montreal, assuming he wins the fifth-starter's job.
Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.