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Braves fall to Phillies

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Posted: March 15, 2012 10:27 p.m.
Updated: March 15, 2012 10:26 p.m.
Braves fall to Phillies



    CLEARWATER, Fla. — Dontrelle Willis pumped his fist with the enthusiasm of a guy getting a meaningful out late in the season, and then blessed himself and pointed to the sky as he walked off the mound.
    The D-Train is still in service.
    Willis pitched a scoreless inning, Scott Podsednik hit a tiebreaking RBI single and a Philadelphia Phillies split squad beat the Atlanta Braves, 6-4, on Thursday.
    It was an encouraging outing for Willis after he got rocked and left his last appearance because of arm tightness and fatigue. Willis, a former 22-game winner, is trying to resurrect his career in a new role as a lefty specialist in the bullpen.
    "I took some tips from some guys," Willis said. "I definitely warmed up a lot better. I slowed myself down. I felt a lot better out there."
    Willis walked the first batter he faced then retired Jason Heyward on a flyball and retired Tyler Pastornicky on a double-play grounder.
    Willis allowed five runs and five hits in 1 2/3 innings in his first two spring appearances.
    Matt Diaz and Dan Uggla hit solo homers for the Braves. Jair Jurrjens had a rough outing, allowing four runs and nine hits in four innings.
    Jurrjens went 12-3 in the first half last year and made his first All-Star team, but he didn't pitch during the final month of last season because of a bone bruise in his right knee.

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