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Braves wrap up spring training with a loss
Atlanta Braves infielder Martin Prado leaps high after fielding a high throw from catcher David Ross as Chicago White Sox's Josh Kroeger steals second base during the third inning of an exhibition baseball game at Turner Field on Saturday in Atlanta. - photo by By Rich Addicks

ATLANTA — Omar Vizquel played as if he were trying to win a roster spot while the Atlanta Braves played as if they were tired of exhibition games.

Vizquel had four hits and three RBIs, John Danks pitched five strong innings and the Chicago White Sox beat the error-prone Braves 12-4 on Saturday in the final exhibition game for both teams.

The 42-year-old Vizquel, entering his 22nd season, also stole a base and scored three times while playing the full game.

"He put on a show," White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said. "I really appreciate what he did, as a veteran player, to play nine innings without making an excuse or crying about it.

"When you're going to be a Hall of Famer and you play nine innings in a game like this, I appreciate that more than what he did on the field."

Vizquel hit .326 in the spring.

"This guy's gonna be huge for this ballclub, on the field and off the field," Guillen said. "The way he keeps himself in shape, he could play for another two or three years, doing what he's doing."

The Braves committed five errors, including three in Chicago's four-run second inning and another as the White Sox added seven runs off Jo-Jo Reyes in the fifth. Vizquel doubled in three runs in the fifth.

Atlanta's Tim Hudson gave up five runs, one earned, and eight hits in four innings.

"In Huddy's defense, he had 10 ground balls the first three innings and he's a ground ball thrower," Braves manager Bobby Cox said. "Jo-Jo just had a bad outing. There's no way around that one."

Reyes was charged with five earned runs to leave his spring ERA at 6.23. He beat out Jonny Venters for the final spot in Atlanta's bullpen.

The Braves finished a 17-12 spring with two losses to the White Sox by a combined score of 19-6.

"The game meant nothing today," Cox said. "We've been ready for a week."

Danks gave up singles to Melky Cabrera and Martin Prado to open the game and didn't allow another hit.

Danks lowered his spring ERA to 4.15 while pitching at least five innings for his fourth straight start. The left-hander set a career high with 13 wins in 2009.

Braves minor league outfielder Brent Clevlen hit a ninth-inning homer off Greg Aquino.

Cabrera provided the only defensive highlight for the Braves. The center fielder threw out Mark Teahen at third base in the second inning when he attempted to advance from first on Josh Kroger's single.

Hudson finished the spring with a 1.50 ERA but needed 79 pitches to make it through four innings against the White Sox.

"I wasn't as crisp as I'd like but I got some good work in," he said. "We didn't play very much crisp baseball today."

Hudson remained upbeat as he looked forward to his first full season since his elbow ligament-replacement surgery in 2008.

"Last year when I came back I didn't quite feel like I was 100 percent," the right-hander said. "But I was able to go out there and compete and perform pretty close to that level. This offseason and coming out of spring training, I feel like I'm easily 100 percent."

Right-hander Scott Proctor was assigned to Triple-A Gwinnett, but may be back with Atlanta soon. Proctor, recovering from elbow ligament-replacement surgery last May, looked sharp in a perfect sixth inning. He was pitching on back-to-back days for the first time this spring.

"He's on the Gwinnett roster, not disabled or anything, and we're going to stick with that for about 15 days and if everything goes right, I think he means a lot to this team," Cox said.

Atlanta's Peter Moylan pitched a perfect seventh and did not allow a run in eight innings this spring.

NOTES: Guillen said C Ramon Castro, who was left behind in Arizona as he receives treatment for his bruised right heel, is expected to join the team in Chicago. Guillen said if Castro is not ready to open the season, Donny Lucy would serve as the backup to A.J. Pierzynski. ... Braves OF Nate McLouth (sore right hamstring) took batting practice, ran the bases and said he expects to be ready for Monday's opener against the Cubs. Cox said he would know more about McLouth following Sunday's workout. ... Prado earned cheers and high-fives from his teammates when he reached the left-field upper deck with a batting practice homer.

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