BRADENTON, Fla. — Atlanta's Kenshin Kawakami pitched two solid innings in his spring debut as the Braves defeated Pittsburgh 5-2 on Friday.
The 33-year-old right-hander retired six of seven batters he faced, allowing just a single by Adam LaRoche, and struck out one.
"I think it went well for being my first outing," Kawakami said, through a translator. "When I face my own team, I don't have that mentality of being aggressive. But today against the Pirates, I was able to be aggressive."
Kawakami spent the past 11 seasons with the Chunichi Dragons of the Japanese Central League. Because of a back injury, he pitched only 110 innings last year.
Notes: Pedro Alvarez, the Pirates' top draft pick last year, made his first start of the spring. He replaced designated hitter Eric Hinske, who was a late scratch with a left ribcage bruise. Hinske expects to miss up to a week. ... Atlanta third baseman Chipper Jones hit a two-run homer in the fifth inning. It was Jones' first game in Bradenton since 1990, when he was in rookie ball. Greg Norton also homered for the Braves.