Tim Hudson returned from his back sprain (I swear mine weren’t sympathy pains) and pitched four shutout innings, allowing three hits and striking out one. Unfortunately, Tom Martin struck again, allowing four runs in the fifth, highlighted by a three-run homer to the immortal Victor Diaz. Martin’s ERA is now 10.80, and I have to think that eventually the Braves will cut bait and eat his contract. Gabe White, who would take Martin’s spot, went two innings, allowing one run on a solo homer to Piazza. Kolb, who hasn’t looked good at all, allowed a run in the eighth to tie the score, and after good part-innings by Barry and Hernandez, Mears allowed the game winner.
On the offensive side, Betemit hit a pair of homers and Langerhans hit his second of the spring — and his second in as many days. Jordan was 0-2 but had an RBI and a stolen base… Betemit is hitting .297 now, slugging .568. A lot of people seem to want him gone in favor of Pete Orr, but Orr’s hitting .244 with a .366 SLG. (Neither has drawn a walk; again, that’s just the nature of spring.) It’s not just spring training. Betemit was a better hitter than Orr last year; Orr’s gaudy batting average is mostly made up for by Betemit’s better walk numbers (neither is exactly Kevin Youkilis) and Betemit has far more power. Plus Betemit’s two and a half years younger. Okay, Orr’s a better defensive player, but I’ll take the bat.