Sabathia goes six as Indians win

Sabathia goes six as Indians win

at Lake Buena Vista, Fla.
Thursday, March 20

Indians at the plate: Jhonny Peralta had a two-run double in the fifth inning. The four-run fourth inning was assisted by five straight walks drawn against Ryan Drese and a Casey Blake sacrifice fly.

Braves at the plate: Playing in his second game since getting hit in the lip with a pitch, Jeff Francoeur had a pair of singles. Matt Diaz's RBI triple highlighted a two-run third inning. Joe Borchard added a sac fly in the ninth.

Indians on the mound: Starter C.C. Sabathia surrendered three earned runs and eight hits in six innings. The Braves recorded just one hit in his final three innings.

Braves on the mound: Jeff Bennett, who was starting in place of John Smoltz, tossed three scoreless innings and improved his hope of making the Opening Day roster as a spot starter/long reliever. Drese's hopes to make the club were seemingly dashed when he issued five straight walks and missed the strike zone with 13 straight pitches in Cleveland's four-run fourth inning.

Grapefruit League records: Indians 10-12-2; Braves 12-10-2.

Up next for the Indians: The race for the Indians' fifth starting job is down to its final days. Left-hander Cliff Lee will make his last bid for the spot Saturday, when he gets the 1:05 p.m. ET starting nod against left-hander Oliver Perez and the Mets at Chain of Lakes Park in Winter Haven, Fla. The other applicants for the position, Jeremy Sowers and Aaron Laffey, are scheduled to pitch Monday against the Braves.

Up next for the Braves: Jair Jurrjens will look to cement his spot in the rotation when he starts Saturday's 1:05 p.m game against the Nationals in Viera, Fla. Closer Rafael Soriano is scheduled to make his third spring appearance.

Mark Bowman is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.