Braves 5, Phillies 4

BY foxsports • March 29, 2010

Braves backup Eric Hinske hit a solo home run in the ninth inning off Ryan Madson and Atlanta beat the Philadelphia Phillies 5-4 Monday.

Madson will start the season as the Phillies' closer while Brad Lidge continues to rehab from offseason knee and elbow surgeries. Hinske connected on a 3-0 pitch.

``He tried to take something off, he slowed his whole body up and pretty much telegraphed it,'' pitching coach Rich Dubee said.

``He tried to throw a (batting practice) fastball, something he hasn't done since 2002,'' pitching coach Rich Dubee said.

After a walk, Madson rebounded to strike out three batters to end the inning.

``He was dead today, just a little dead,'' Dubee said of Madson's effort.

Hinske singled in the seventh off Chad Durbin and Brooks Conrad hit a tying home run.

Philadelphia starter J.A. Happ capped his Florida exhibition schedule by reaching the 90-pitch plateau for the first time. He allowed two runs on three hits and struggled with his command, walking a spring-high five.

Happ's next appearance will come in an exhibition game in Philadelphia on Saturday against Pittsburgh. He has a 3.06 ERA in six starts.

``I made some good pitches, but they were ahead in the count and laying off them,'' Happ said. ``They didn't have to swing the bat for a while, especially in the fourth inning. I have to be a little bit more aggressive I guess. It's such a fine line between being aggressive in the strike zone and missing.''

Happ finished strong. He retired the last three hitters he faced, including strikeouts of Troy Glaus and Martin Prado in the fifth inning.

The 27-year-old Happ, who was competing for a spot in the rotation last spring, is now eager to see if he can replicate his 2009 stats. Happ was 12-4 with a 2.93 ERA and finished second in the NL Rookie of the Year voting.

``It's going to be a challenge to duplicate what I was able to do last year, but what I said last year I'll say again, I'll just try to be as consistent as I can,'' Happ said.

NOTES: Philadelphia LHP J.C. Romero appeared in his first game of the spring, a minor league intrasquad game. He faced four batters, striking out two of them without allowing a runner. Romero, who had left elbow surgery in October, has set the home opener (April 12) as a goal to join the team. ... Joe Blanton allowed 11 runs and 11 hits in five innings of the same intrasquad minor league game Romero pitched. ... LF Raul Ibanez was held out of the lineup for the second straight game. Ibanez, who was hit by a pitch in the right elbow Friday night, is expected to start against the Astros on Tuesday.

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