If Touki Toussaint pitched himself out of a Braves' starting rotation spot with his first two outings of Spring Training, he's inserted himself back into the conversation with his last two performances. Atlanta's No. 6 prospect tossed four scoreless innings of relief Monday, scattering two hits without a walk and four
If Touki Toussaint pitched himself out of a Braves' starting rotation spot with his first two outings of Spring Training, he's inserted himself back into the conversation with his last two performances.
Atlanta's No. 6 prospect tossed four scoreless innings of relief Monday, scattering two hits without a walk and four strikeouts during the Braves' 6-2 victory over the Pirates at Champion Stadium. It marked the second straight scoreless effort for Toussaint, who delivered three hitless frames against the Tigers last week.
Entering in the fifth inning, baseball's 50th overall prospect retired the first five hitters he faced before Patrick Kivlehan singled with two outs in the sixth. In the seventh, the right-hander worked around a one-out knock from Steven Baron with a pair of punchouts to end the frame before delivering a 1-2-3 eighth.
Toussaint struggled in his first two outings this spring against the Mets and Tigers respectively, as the teams combined to tag him for seven earned runs on six hits over three innings.
But the 22-year-old rebounded with the kind of performance that led Atlanta to promote him to the Major Leagues at the end of last season, when he went 2-1 with a 4.03 in seven appearances (five starts). Between Double-A Mississippi and Triple-A Gwinnett in 2018, Toussaint posted a 2.38 ERA in 24 starts with 163 whiffs over 136 1/3 frames.
Second-ranked Braves prospect Kyle Wright got the start and the victory. He struck out five while surrendering two earned runs on four hits and a walk over three frames. With the fifth spot in the rotation open, and top-ranked prospect Mike Sorokacurrently on the shelf, the door is open for Toussaint or Wright to break camp with the big club.
Pirates No. 18 prospectPablo Reyes singled and drew a walk.
In other spring action: Astros 6, Mets 3
Houston topped visiting New York with help from its top two offensive prospects, Kyle Tucker
and Yordan Alvarez
. Tucker smacked a two-run double in the eighth after Alvarez singled home a run in the sixth. Sixth-ranked J.B. Bukauskas
(1-0) earned the victory with two scoreless frames of relief in which he yielded one hit and two walks while fanning three. For the Mets, top prospect Pete Alonso
smoked a double off the wall in the second and later got the best of Astros right fielder Josh Reddick
in a collision at first base
. Alonso is batting .406 in Grapefruit League play while his competition for the Mets' first-base job, Dominic Smith
, is hitting .407. Box scoreTigers 3, Twins 0
Minnesota's No. 10 prospect Nick Gordon
ripped a triple to raise his Grapefruit League average to .333. Eighth-ranked Detroit prospect Christin Stewart
went 1-for-3. Box scoreCardinals 3, Nationals 2Jake Woodford
-- St. Louis' No. 26 prospect -- picked up the save after fanning one over two two-hit frames. Box scoreRays 8, Phillies 2Brandon Lowe
, Tampa Bay's No. 9 prospect, started at second and hit leadoff on a 1-for-3 day with a two-RBI double to right in the second. He's hitting .448 this spring. Box scoreGiants 4, Dodgers 1
Baseball's No. 22 prospect Joey Bart
ripped a two-out, three-run double to snap a ninth-inning tie. The top Giants prospect is batting .500 with a homer and six RBIs in 10 Cactus League appearances. Dodgers No. 5 prospect Tony Gonsolin
made his first start of the spring and struck out three over three perfect innings. The 24-year-old is unscored upon in three appearances spanning six frames. Top Los Angeles prospect Alex Verdugo
doubled in his lone at-bat. Box score
Rockies 6, A's 3
Oakland's 20th-ranked prospect Tyler Ramirez singled in his only at-bat and No. 3 Sean Murphy walked in four plate appearances. Box score
Reds 5, Indians 5
Cleveland's No. 29 prospect Eric Haase tied the game with a two-run homer in the eighth. Top Cincinnati prospect Nick Senzel singled and scored in the second. He finished the day 1-for-3 to bring his spring average to .381. TJ Friedl (No. 13) knocked a pinch-hit single in the ninth. Box score
Brewers 8, White Sox 5
Chicago's No. 1 prospect Eloy Jiménez clubbed an RBI double in the sixth, just his fourth hit of the spring. Luis Robert (No. 4) finished 1-for-3 and Micker Adolfo (No. 8) singled home a run in his only at-bat. Caleb Frare, the team's No. 25 prospect, pitched a hitless frame and recorded one strikeout. Brewers No. 8 prospect Lucas Erceg doubled and scored in his only at-bat. Troy Stokes Jr. (No. 13) went 1-for-2 and is hitting .200 (5-for-25) this spring. Box score
Angels 12, Rangers (ss) 11
Los Angeles' No. 24 prospect Jack Kruger homered in his first at-bat -- a three-run, seventh-inning blast. The 24-year-old catcher also played hero in the ninth when his bases-clearing triple tied the game before Brandon Sandoval plated Kruger with the game-winning double. Ty Buttrey (No. 14) struck out two in one scoreless frame. Box score
Rangers (ss) 6, Royals (ss) 2 (5 innings)
Texas' No. 16 prospect Eli White doubled to lead off the fourth and came around to score Texas' final run later in the inning. Box score
Royals (ss) 5, Mariners 1
Eighth-ranked Kansas City prospect Nicky Lopez singled to start the game and crossed the plate later that inning. Right-hander Scott Blewett (No. 15) allowed two hits and walk while fanning two over a pair of scoreless frames. Box score