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



Randy Smith: Butch's Last Stand?

There are some media pundits who may know a lot more than I do that believe this weekend's Tennessee-Georgia game in Knoxville will be the last stand for Vols' coach Butch Jones. The 7th ranked Bulldogs are favored to win the game  Saturday  afternoon at Neyland Stadium, which would snap a two game losing streak to the Volunteers. Unranked Tennessee is coming off of ... (click for more)

Chattooga High Hosts 5th Annual Bobcat Cheer Extravaganza

Nearly 450 cheer athletes of all different ages tumbled, danced and cheered on the mats at Chattooga High School  on Monday  night for the fifth annual Bobcat Cheer Extravaganza, presented and hosted by Georgia Northwestern.  Recreation teams, middle school teams and high school teams, both varsity and junior varsity, performed and competed in three ... (click for more)

Woman Has Unknown Liquid Thrown In Her Face At CARTA; 15 Fire Companies Respond

A woman had an "unknown liquid" thrown in her face at CARTA at Wilcox Boulevard and Holtzclaw Avenue on Tuesday morning, fire officials said. The Chattanooga Fire Department responded to the call to assist Hamilton County EMS personnel who were on the scene.  EMS advised that there was a female with burns to her face and she was transported to a local hospital.  ... (click for more)

Opportunity Zone Begins Effort To Transform 12 Low-Performing County Schools

The Hamilton County Department of Education announced the new Opportunity Zone team that officials said "will ensure every student is post-secondary ready." The schools in this zone are: Brainerd High, The Howard School, East Lake Middle Academy, Dalewood Middle, Orchard Knob Middle, Barger Academy of Fine Arts, Calvin Donaldson Environmental Science Academy, Clifton Hills ... (click for more)

Titans Hide In The Locker Room

This Sunday, as has been widely reported, the Tennessee Titans and the Seattle Seahawks both chose to remain in their respective locker rooms during the playing of the National Anthem at Nissan Stadium.  Besides the fact that the NFL game operations manual has a rule regarding player behavior during the playing of the National Anthem which requires them to stand at attention ... (click for more)

Roy Exum - Why Al Took A Stand

“Help me, sir!” 18-year-old Jesse Dietrich cried to his lieutenant. “Please sir, I need help …” the Private First Class begged as blood streamed from where the kid had been shot in the chest during an intense Taliban ambush. The platoon leader had just dragged the 18-year-old by his backpack down a dark alley in withering gunfire, all the while returning fire over the fallen soldier ... (click for more)