Phillips propels Braves in Folty's strong outing

Phillips propels Braves in Folty's strong outing

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Mike Leake completed three perfect innings in efficient style, but after he exited, the Braves manufactured a two-run fourth inning that preserved their pitching staff's fine effort in Tuesday afternoon's 2-0 win over the Cardinals at ESPN's Wide World of Sports complex.

Brandon Phillips' two-out, two-run double to right field served as the decisive blow against Cardinals non-roster invitee Robby Rowland, who retired just one of the first six batters he faced in the bottom of the fourth inning. Freddie Freeman fueled the rally with the first of his two singles.

Leake needed just 32 pitches to retire each of the nine batters he faced. The Braves did not hit a ball to the outfield against the Cardinals' right-hander, who notched three strikeouts and recorded five ground-ball outs.

"I thought he looked great," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said of Leake. "Good day for him. He already looks so much sharper than when we saw him early on last year. He's in a great place."

Braves starting pitcher Mike Foltynewicz completed two scoreless innings in his Grapefruit League debut. The young right-hander also benefited from some good fortune, as he managed to face the minimum in the first inning, despite allowing two hits and issuing a walk.

"I thought his stuff was good," Braves manager Brian Snitker said of Foltynewicz. "In the first inning, it was almost like he was trying to do too much with an [0-2 count]. But his fastballs and breaking balls were good. I liked everything I saw out of him."

Magneuris Sierra began the game with the first of his three singles, and then he was picked off first base. Kolten Wong followed with a single and advanced to second base when Stephen Piscotty walked. After Wong was retired between second and third by Foltynewicz's second pickoff of the inning, third baseman Rio Ruiz alertly threw to first base to retire Piscotty, who had strayed too far toward second.

UP NEXT

Cardinals: The Cardinals return to Jupiter, Fla., on Wednesday for a 12:05 p.m. CT game against the Mets. Carlos Martinez will start that game as he continues to prepare for the World Baseball Classic and a potential Opening Day start. Matt Bowman, Brett Cecil and Jonathan Broxton are among those scheduled to follow Martinez on the mound.

Braves: Atlanta will travel to Tampa to play the Yankees on Wednesday at 6:35 p.m. ET. Jaime Garcia will make his first start since being acquired from the Cardinals in December. Matt Kemp, Ender Inciarte and Brandon Phillips are all scheduled to be in Atlanta's lineup.

Watch every out-of-market regular-season game live on MLB.TV.

Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.