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Braves notebook: Outfielder Jeff Francoeur recovering from beaning

POSTED: March 30, 2008 5:01 a.m.

KISSIMMEE, Fla. — Atlanta Braves outfielder Jeff Francoeur, hit in the face by a pitch over the weekend, hopes to play Thursday night against the Detroit Tigers.

There was only slight swelling on Francoeur’s lip Wednesday. The Braves outfielder suffered cuts inside his lower lip when he was hit by a pitch thrown by Cardinals pitcher Todd Wellemeyer on Sunday.

"The outside feels fine, but it’s still a little rough on the inside," Francoeur said before a workout for players not scheduled to participate in Wednesday night’s game against the Houston Astros.

Francoeur said he has been gargling with salt water to help the lacerations heal. He did not have stitches.

He is batting .314 in 35 spring at-bats with one home run and eight RBIs. He said he hopes the time he has missed won’t derail his momentum for the regular season.

"I hope not. That’s why I want to get back in there and get going as soon as possible," he said.

Francoeur could only smile when pitcher Tim Hudson picked on him before the workout.

"I can’t believe it missed your nose," Hudson said.

Francoeur did not lose consciousness but was down for a few minutes when hit by Wellemeyer’s pitch.

Francoeur’s doctor said he was fortunate to avoid serious injury.

"I said I don’t feel lucky; I just got hit in the face for the second time in four years," Francoeur said before adding "But I am lucky."

Braves lose to Astros

KISSIMMEE, Fla. — Braves starter Jo-Jo Reyes may have hurt his chances for winning the fifth spot in the rotation in Wednesday night’s game against Houston.

He gave up five runs and six hits in four innings while walking four batters in Atlanta’s 8-7 loss but said he was still encouraged after making use of lessons learned in side sessions with another left-hander, Tom Glavine, and pitching coach Roger McDowell.

"Me and Glavine and Roger have been working on some stuff in the bullpen. I was bringing it over today and making strides forward but I’ve got to keep working and keep it going."

Reyes said he was working on being more consistent in the way he plants his left foot during his delivery. "I felt really good," he said. "It may have looked like I was all over the place, but when I was missing I was just missing instead of being erratic. ... We were working on making my footing be more consistent instead of different with each pitch."

New Astros shortstop Miguel Tejada went 4-for-4 with two RBIs and his first home run of the spring and Carlos Lee had two hits and a pair of RBIs.

Reggie Abercrombie grounded into a force out that scored Jose Cruz Jr. in the bottom of the eighth to give Houston the win.



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