The Atlanta Braves took the trip south to face the Miami Marlins on Monday night for the first game of three this week. Paul Maholm took the mound for the Braves and went seven strong shutout innings. He gave up only one hit to Placido Polanco while walking three and striking out seven. This was Paul’s second start of the season after a great spring training. In his first start against the Philadelphia Phillies he pitched 5.2 innings striking out six and not giving up any runs. After two starts in 2013, Maholm has 13 strikeouts and hasn’t given up a single run yet….not bad from a bottom of the rotation guy.
The offense behind Maholm was a little shy down in Florida on Monday. The third base platoon battle continued though as Juan Francisco got the start at third base and Chris Johnson started at first base in place of Freddie Freeman who was placed on the DL. Francisco had two of the 10 hits Atlanta had on Monday night while Johnson had three. The intense battle that was in spring training seems to have carried over so far this season, as both guys are hitting .300 or over (Juan .300, Chris .357).
The other five hits the Braves had came off the bats of Evan Gattis and Justin Upton. Upton continued his great start to the season going 4-4 with two singles, a double and a mammoth home run to left. Upton scored the only two runs Atlanta had on Monday as he scored when Dan Uggla hit an RBI groudout in the 4th inning. If you missed it last night or would love watching the ball fly off Upton’s bat, video is below of the home run.
Craig Kimbrel came in for the 9th inning close but struggled a little while still picking up the save. Kimbrel looked a little shaky as he gave up a hit to Rob Brantly and walked Giancarlo Stanton. After pitching coach Greg McDowell walked to the mound to settle Craig down, he shut the door of any unlikely comeback for the Marlins. This is Kimbrel’s third save of the young season.
The Atlanta Braves sent Kris Medlen to the hill on Tuesday against Miami’s Wade LeBlanc. The first pitch is scheduled for 7:10PM ET. Medlen looks to rebound from his first outing where it looked like his control was a little off. He gets a great matchup here with the Marlins to pick up his first win and get back in the groove.