Braves Take Second Straight From Washington, 6-3.

Sunday, April 13, 2014
Evan Gattis had a three hit game.
Evan Gattis had a three hit game.
- photo by Tim Evearitt

ATLANTA -- Justin Upton has spent the past few days proving he is up to the task of helping Freddie Freeman carry the load for Atlanta. But he was far from the only Braves player who backed Alex Wood's determined effort in Saturday night's 6-3 win over the Nationals at Turner Field.

The Braves have won 17 of the 24 games played against the Nationals dating back to the start of last year. Atlanta, which will be bidding for a three-game sweep on Sunday, has won both of the first two series played between these two National League East rivals this year.

Freeman, Evan Gattis and Upton all recorded three-hit nights as the Braves matched the season-high hit total they had produced against the Nationals exactly one week earlier. Freeman's eighth-inning solo homer helped provide some cushion for Craig Kimbrel, who closed things out after the Nationals tallied single runs in the sixth and eighth innings against Atlanta's bullpen.

Upton produced his third consecutive three-hit performance and delivered one of the three extra-base hits that doomed Nationals starter Taylor Jordan during a four-run first inning. His older brother B.J. Upton fueled that early eruption with a solo home run that highlighted his second two-hit game of this young season.

Like B.J. Upton, who entered the game with a .135 batting average , Dan Uggla also provided some encouraging signs with a two-hit performance that included RBI singles in the first and fifth innings. Uggla entered the game with a .162 batting average and in the midst of an 0-for-10 skid.

Since scoring 15 runs through their first seven games, the Braves have totaled 20 runs in the four games that have followed. This surge has been primarily sparked by Justin Upton, who has nine hits, including three home runs and two doubles, in 11 at-bats over the past three games.

This latest offensive flurry was much welcomed by Wood, who struggled with his command as he limited the Nationals to one run but needed 103 pitches to complete five innings. Anthony Rendon's leadoff homer accounted for that lone run surrendered by Wood.

The three home runs Wood has allowed through his first three starts match the total he surrendered in 77 2/3 innings as a rookie last year. Each of these home runs have been hit at the start of an inning, and Rendon's was the first that was not hit on the first pitch.

Wood stranded a pair of runners when he ended the third inning with consecutive strikeouts against Adam LaRoche and Ian Desmond. After allowing two on with none out in the fourth inning, Atlanta's 23-year-old left-hander escaped unscathed when Bryce Harper got caught too far off second base after Jordan struck out while attempting a sacrifice bunt.

The Nationals squandered another fifth-inning rally attempt when Wood picked Ryan Zimmerman off second base, with Zimmerman exiting after an injury on the play. Moments later, Wood notched his eighth and final strikeout of the night by getting LaRoche to look at a called third strike.



Covenant Names Neal Young Head Men's Basketball Coach

After a national search of candidates, the Covenant men's basketball program has a new head coach as director of athletics Tim Sceggel has named Neal Young the 16th head coach in program history. Young comes to Covenant after spending the last four years as head coach at Goshen (Ind.) College. In addition to his head coaching role at Goshen, Young was an associate athletic ... (click for more)

Chip Brindle Wins At Fort Payne Speedway

Chip Brindle of Dalton/Chatsworth, Georgia won his third United Crate Racing Alliance main event of the season,  Saturday  night at Fort Payne (AL) Motor Speedway. Turning back local favorite Kasey Hall of Geraldine, "Chipper" won the $2,500/40-lap feature race, while halting Hall's two-race series win streak.   Brindle in his  Team 17/Hill ... (click for more)

Coolidge Park Crowd Gets Twilight, Cricket Chirping As Solar Eclipse Arrives

A crowd at Coolidge Park and the nearby Walnut Street Bridge got twilight and cricket chirping as the heralded solar eclipse finally arrived at mid-afternoon Monday. As the moon moved across the sun around 2:30 p.m., birds quit chirping and began to roost. Crickets started going full force. Lights on the Market Street Bridge began to flicker on. The event, sponsored by Comcast, ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Airport President Gets New Contract Amid Double-Digit Growth, Improvements

Chattanooga Airport President Terry Hart has been given a six-year extension on his contract amid double-digit passenger increases and a host of airport improvements. There is no increase in his $158,377 pay, but the board plans to put in annual performance reviews with some built-in bonuses. Jim Hall, vice chairman of the Airport Board, said it is also important that the ... (click for more)

Tom Decosimo: My Great-Great-Grandparents Are Buried At The Confederate Cemetery - And Response

To Mayor Berke, I cannot add any more to the very fine comments made in opposition to your empty jester to remove the city as a trustee of the Confederate Cemetery. I can, however, add some personal perspective as my great-great-grandparents are buried there. Penelope McDermott Cooke was a Daughter of the Confederacy and was concerned the remains of the Confederates who ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The New Mean

Until last Monday I believed nobody could ever hurt my feelings again. In the half-century I have been a writer I’ve had hundreds of people take swipes at me, been called more names, and received more hate mail than you can imagine. I also know the only way anyone can hurt you is for you to allow it and, brother, it is nigh impossible to get inside me. My defense mechanism is because ... (click for more)