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Braves power past Phillies; Chipper ready to return to Team USA
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CLEARWATER, Fla. — Kyle Kendrick’s bid to win a spot in the Philadelphia Phillies was set back with an awful outing against the Atlanta Braves.

The 24-year-old right-hander was pounded for eight runs and 10 hits in three-plus innings Wednesday during a 12-10 loss to Atlanta, allowing a pair of two-run homers to Clint Sammons.

Sammons, hitting .462 in spring training, homered in the second and fourth innings. He connected on a slider and a fastball.

“If we start the season and we’re going to pitch with one pitch again, we’re looking at June through September again,” Phillies pitching coach Rich Dubee said, referring to a slump that knocked Kendrick out of the rotation last summer.

“He’s got to get people off his sinker. That’s what got him here, but he’s got to start getting outs with his secondary pitches.”
Kendrick has three starts left this spring, including Monday.

“I think every start is big,” he said.

“I got hit today. No excuses, nothing. I made mistakes, and they hit them. What are you going to do?”

John Mayberry Jr. hit his this home run of spring training in the fourth and hit a two-run double in a five-run fifth. He is batting .290 as he tries to earn a roster berth.

Chipper takes BP, should return in WBC’s Round 2

TORONTO — Chipper Jones took swings from both sides of the plate and fielded grounders before the United States faced Venezuela on Wednesday and said he’ll be ready to play when the second round of the World Baseball Classic begins Saturday in Miami.

The Atlanta Braves third baseman, who is 0-7 with five strikeouts in the WBC, left Sunday’s 15-6 win over Venezuela after five innings with a strain on his right side. His condition improved after doing only light running on Monday and Tuesday.

“I felt good. I felt better,” Jones said after his stint in the batting cage. “There were no ill effects.”

David Wright started at third base and Derek Jeter was the designated hitter as the U.S. played Venezuela to decide the winner of Group C.

Jones, who hit .364 with 22 home runs and 75 RBIs for Atlanta in 2008, said the injury is one he’s encountered in the past and he has no reason to fear a lengthy absence.

“If I hadn’t had a couple of dozen of those during the course of my career I’d probably be a lot more cautious,” he said, “but I know that it’s a mild strain.”

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