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


Lookouts Fall To Suns Tuesday, 3-2

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The Jacksonville Suns drew four walks against Chattanooga Lookouts right-hander Zack Jones in the ninth inning, the last being a bases-loaded walk by Suns third baseman Brian Anderson that forced in the winning run for a 3-2 victory in front of 3,001 at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville. Aaron Slegers made the start for the Lookouts in this one and ... (click for more)

Parking Options Announced For Vols' Season Opener On Thursday

With the University of Tennessee’s football home opener on Thursday, fans heading to the game should anticipate some logistical deviations from a traditional Saturday game. Shuttle services to and from Neyland Stadium will be limited, and there will likely be waits to board the shuttles as kickoff approaches. City transportation planners are recommending that regular game-day ... (click for more)

State Board In Nashville Approves New Erlanger Behavioral Health Hospital

Members of the board of the Tennessee Health Services and Development Agency in Nashville on Wednesday unanimously approved a new $25 million Behavioral Health Hospital planned by Erlanger Health Systems on Holzclaw Avenue.   Parkridge Valley Hospital and CADAS had opposed the issuance of Certificate of Need.  The 88-bed facility will provide "acute adult inpatient ... (click for more)

Pinkston Says Offer Was Made To Dismiss Lawsuit Against Him If Prosecution Of Detective Burns Was Dropped; Judge Greenholtz "Greatly Bothered" By Any Such Offer

District Attorney Neal Pinkston said at a hearing Tuesday that an offer was made to drop a lawsuit filed against him by Gatlinburg detective Rodney Burns if he would dismiss two perjury counts against Burns. The district attorney said he should not be disqualified from continuing to prosecute the case or else attorneys would begin suing him or the judge to get a new DA or trial ... (click for more)

Downtown Needs Cleaned Up

My son and I parked on Broad Street and walked to the Billiard Club on Cherry Street this past weekend. It's probably a total of two blocks. In that short walk we passed where Rone Regency used to be on 6th Street and in that doorway was about a years worth of human feces and urine covering the doors and walls. The concrete sidewalk on the street is all broken up and the metal ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Ooltewah & The Bullies

During the week of Christmas I got an email from a longtime friend at the Knoxville News-Sentinel that laughingly wondered what kind of basketball do you people play (in Chattanooga?) It included sketchy details of the rape, and subsequent surgery, of an Ooltewah High School basketball player who had been assaulted by his own teammates at a Gatlinburg holiday tournament. Today ... (click for more)