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G-BRAVES NOTES: Moran gets off to perfect start in exhibition opener

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. Gary Moran's first outing of the spring couldn't have gone any better.

Moran, who led the Southern League in ERA last season, struck out the first three batters he faced and pitched two perfect innings in the Gwinnett Braves' exhibition opener Saturday.

The G-Braves ended up losing to Oklahoma City 5-4 thanks to pair of late homers. But that couldn't overshadow Moran's outing.

The 6-foot-8 right-hander is being counted on as one of Gwinnett's potential starters and it looked like the jump from Class AA to Class AAA might not be a major hurdle.

Two of Oklahoma City's first-inning strikeouts were swinging and Moran retired the Houston Astros minor leaguers on two grounders and a fly ball in his second and final inning.

Moran had a 2.91 ERA last season in 29 games, 23 of them starts. He was just 5-10 because of a lack of run support, but was selected for the Southern League All-Star Game.

The California native pitched for NCAA Division II Sonoma State and spent time in the independent leagues before being signed by the Braves in 2011. He was 6-2 with a 3.19 ERA in Class A his first year before jumping to Mississippi last season.

Meyer homers deep twice

Oklahoma City third baseman Jon Meyer hit a two-run homer in the seventh inning off Michael Lee and a three-run blast in the ninth off Andrew Wilson as the RedHawks rallied to spoil the G-Braves spring opener.

Oklahoma City didn't have a base runner until the fifth inning or a hit until the sixth.

James Hoyt and Cory Rasmus each pitched a perfect inning for Gwinnett and Omar Poveda allowed just a walk in his two innings.

Jose Yepez and Shawn McGill shared the catching for the G-Braves and each had two hits and drove in a run. Right fielder Jose Martinez also had two hits.

Wimberly ready to bounce back

Corey Wimberly, who had his season cut short a year ago by an elbow injury that required Tommy John surgery, is looking for a new start after signing with Atlanta as a minor league free agent.

Wimberly, 29, can play second base and the outfield. He did both while getting a hit and drawing a walk against Oklahoma City.

The speedy Florida native hit .301 in 39 games for Buffalo in the New York Mets organization last year before his season came to an end.

Wimberly has played three seasons in Class AAA and stole 56 bases for Sacramento in the Pacific Coast League in 2010. He had 59 steals with Class AA Tulsa in 2008.

Marrero returns to Braves

Christian Marrero is back with the Braves, signing as a minor league free agent after finishing last year in the Pittsburgh organization. The outfielder-first baseman hit .247 in 68 games with Gwinnett last season.

Marrero, 26, got into one Grapefruit League game with the Braves and had a hit in his only at-bat. He played in the Chicago White Sox organization originally.