Braves Open Season With 7-5 Win Over Phillies In Front Of 51,456 Fans At Turner Field

Freeman, Uggla, and Justin Upton Homer For Atlanta

Monday, April 1, 2013

ATLANTA -- Freddie Freeman fueled an early power barrage against Cole Hamels, and Justin Upton introduced himself to his new hometown crowd with one of the three homers the Braves drilled on the way to opening this season with Monday night's 7-5 win over the Phillies at Turner Field.

With a raucous overflow crowd celebrating Opening Day, the Braves legitimized some of the hype that has built since they reconstructed their lineup with the offseason additions of the Upton brothers. Freeman drilled a two-run home run off Hamels in the first inning, and Dan Uggla shook off a rough spring season by opening the bottom of the second inning with a towering shot over the left-field wall. Upton got into the act with a line-drive shot that easily cleared the left-center-field wall with one out in the fifth inning.

Upton's first home run for the Braves proved to be big as the Phillies kept things interesting in the late innings. While the home runs provided the early highlights, the Braves scored their decisive runs in the sixth inning with assistance from a couple of offseason additions that did not generate as much hype as the Upton brothers.

After Uggla drew a walk to begin the bottom of the sixth against Chad Durbin, Chris Johnson highlighted his two-hit Atlanta debut with a double. Gerald Laird followed with an RBI single to left-center field. Johnson then alertly raced to the plate as the Phillies turned a double play on Reed Johnson's grounder to left-handed reliever Jeremy Horst.

The three home runs surrendered by Hamels helped the Braves to overcome the fifth-inning struggles endured by Tim Hudson, who allowed three runs and lasted just 4 1/3 innings. The Phillies kept things interesting by scoring a run against Eric O'Flaherty in the seventh inning and one more against Jordan Walden in the eighth.

Somewhat of a forgotten figure in a lineup that includes Jason Heyward and the Upton brothers, Freeman provided a reminder of his power potential by hitting his two-run, first-inning home run to the back of the Braves' bullpen located beyond the right-center-field wall. The 23-year-old first baseman added a third-inning RBI single on the way to a three-hit season debut.

Chase Utley's fourth-inning leadoff homer accounted for the only damage Hudson had incurred before Hamels fueled Philadelphia's two-run fifth with a single through the left side. Ben Revere followed with an 11-pitch walk that seemed to deflate Hudson, who exited when Jimmy Rollins and Utley followed with consecutive singles.

After Utley's two-run single brought the Phillies to within 4-3 and put runners at second and third base, the Braves replaced Hudson with left-handed reliever Luis Avilan, who promptly struck out Ryan Howard. Avilan intentionally walked Michael Young to load the bases and face left-hander Dominic Brown, who grounded out to end the inning.

Eric O'Flaherty and Jordan Walden gave up single runs in relief but closer Craig Kimbrel set the Phillies down in order for the save.

Box Score 

Following an off-day Tuesday, the teams return to action Wednesday night with Roy Halladay facing Paul Maholm.

--- Source: MLB.com


Former Lafayette High's Demarcus Simpson Wins NCAA Division II National Championship As A College Freshman

Chadron State College freshman Damarcus Simpson said he surprised even himself Thursday afternoon when he went 26-feet, 3 inches while winning the long jump at the NCAA Division II National Track and Field Championships in Allendale, Mich. Simpson set the pace early when he hit 25-11 on his second jump during the first flight. He posted his winning jump on his opening attempt ... (click for more)

Willis Wins Third State Open Championship

GALLATIN, Tenn. -- Garrett Willis finished at 205 and won his third SunTrust State Open Championship on Thursday at The Club at Fairvue Plantation. The professional from Loudon shot rounds of 70, 62 and 73 for a two-shot victory over Germantown's Tim Jackson.  Clarksville's Hunter Richardson finished third while four players tied for fourth.       ... (click for more)

EPB Seeks 3.5% Rate Increase; First Since 2011

EPB on Friday morning asked its board of directors to consider a 3.5 percent rate increase to monthly electric power charges for customers, effective July 1. The board is set to vote on the measure in June. For residential customers who use 1,000 kWh of electric power in a month, this adjustment will reflect an increase of about $3.50 on their monthly bills. The 3.5 percent ... (click for more)

New CARTA Service To Enterprise South Industrial Park Has "Medium" Success So Far

CARTA officials said its new bus service from downtown to the Enterprise South Industrial Park is meeting with "medium" success thus far. Lisa Maragnano, executive director, said there have been 313 riders on the routes that began at the first of the month. That includes 241 getting aboard downtown in the early morning and 72 riding from Enterprise South in the afternoon. ... (click for more)

Don't Make A Mockery Of Memorial Day

We're told Memorial Day is the day to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice in order that we, as Americans and others around the world, might live free, unshackled (invisible or otherwise) and without oppression. But how is that so when so many in America continue to be denied those freedoms? Others whose family and friends made the ultimate sacrifice? Their surviving families ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Chincoteague Mourns ‘Dude’

In the span of a person’s life, there are some things that simply can’t be explained to be totally understood. And of all the spectacles I have ever personally witnessed, one of the best is that day in late July when they “pen the ponies” at Chincoteague Island, Va. I’m serious. Over 50,000 people watch every year as volunteer “Saltwater Cowboys” swim the wild ponies to the mainland ... (click for more)