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G-Braves notes: Flande making good impression on Braves

Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Randall Delgado winds up against the Toronto Blue Jays during the third inning of their spring training baseball game in Dunedin, Fla., Saturday, March 24, 2012. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Randall Delgado winds up against the Toronto Blue Jays during the third inning of their spring training baseball game in Dunedin, Fla., Saturday, March 24, 2012. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

Johan Flande will likely be back in Gwinnett at the start of the season, but he is making a surprising bid for a spot in Atlanta with a strong spring.

The left-hander is 2-0 and hasn't allowed an earned run in 8 innings over five Grapefruit League appearances. He got credit for the victory when the Braves defeated the New York Mets on Friday and is scheduled to pitch again today against Houston.

Flande, 26, has given up three hits, walked five and struck out five. The walks are bit of an issue, but opponents have batted just .111.

The native of the Dominican Republic got into just one game with the Braves last spring after signing as a minor league free agent and spent the season at Gwinnett in and out of the rotation.

Flande was 8-8 with a 4.01 ERA for the G-Braves in 33 games, 19 of them starts. He struck out 104 and walked 38 in 137 innings.

Flande had a four-game winning streak near midseason a year ago and was at his best in July. He was 4-1 with a 2.45 ERA in eight games, including three starts.

Delgado struggles against Toronto

Randall Delgado appeared to have an edge over fellow rookie Julio Teheran in the battle for the fifth spot in the Braves' rotation. But he allowed eight runs five earned in four innings in Saturday's 9-0 loss to Toronto.

Delgado, who struck out five and walked one, gave up 10 hits as his spring ERA jumped to 7.94. Adam Lind hit a three-run homer in the third inning and the Blue Jays added five more runs in the fourth.

While Delgado, 22, was facing Toronto, Teheran, 21, pitched in a minor league game. His ERA in Grapefruit League games in 9.00, a figure inflated by giving up six wind-aided homers in his first start.

The loser of the Teheran-Delgado competition will start the season with Gwinnett.

Varvaro strains pectoral muscle

Anthony Varvaro had to leave the Braves' game with the Mets on Friday because of a strained right pectoral muscle. It isn't known how long he will be sidelined.

Varvaro didn't record an out in the fifth inning while giving up a run on three hits and a walk. That raised his ERA to 9.45 in eight Grapefruit League appearances.

Varvaro, 27, pitched in 38 games for Gwinnett and four with Atlanta last season. He struck out 68 in 59 innings with the G-Braves and fanned 23 in 24 innings for the Braves.

Wilson hopes to avoid DL

Jack Wilson may be able to avoid starting the season on the disabled list, giving the Braves a veteran backup at shortstop for either Tyler Pastornicky or Andrelton Simmons.

Wilson hasn't made his Grapefruit League debut yet, but he has had no trouble in a couple of minor league games. He had missed most of spring training because of a strained right calf.

Wilson, 34, split last season between Seattle and Atlanta.