Braves win 10th straight behind 3 homers in 8th
Justin Upton loves playing for a team with so many sluggers.
Now in his third week with the Atlanta Braves , Upton looks around the clubhouse and sees a solid starting rotation, a dependable bullpen and power – lots and lots of power.
“It’s fun when you can do that,” Upton said. “But our goal is to go out and play good baseball every night, pitch well, play good defense, put together good at-bats and we’ve been able to do that so far.”
Upton, Jason Heyward and Dan Uggla homered in the eighth inning, and Juan Francisco hit a pair of solo shots earlier in the game to help the Braves win their 10th straight with a 6-3 victory over the Kansas City Royals on Tuesday night.
Luis Avilan Injured In Braves Win Over Royals
Atlanta Braves relief pitcher Luis Avilan grabbed his leg and went down in a heap on the mound in the ninth inning of Tuesday night’s game. The Braves later called it a left hamstring strain and cramping, but it seems clear that Avilan could be out for at least a week or two.
…The injury to Avilan leaves Atlanta with only one left handed reliever in the bullpen. If they are to promote a player from triple-A to the Majors, the two likely candidates are righty David Carpenter and lefty Ryan Buchter. Carpenter has previous Major League experience. He pitched okay this spring, though not good enough to make the team, and has continued his okay performance at Gwinnett.
Atlanta Braves – PlayerWatch
LHP Mike Minor, who starts Wednesday against the Royals at 12:10 p.m. ET in the finale of the two-game interleague series, hopes to continue in the role that began at midseason last year. He has posted a 2.02 ERA over 17 starts since entering last July with a 6.20 ERA. Minor was 4-0 with a 0.87 ERA in five starts last September and has allowed just one run over 13 innings in his two starts this season.
1B Freddie Freeman, put on the 15-day disabled list with a right oblique strain on April 7, took some flip swings and hit off a tee on Tuesday and said he felt good. If he doesn’t have any issues Wednesday, he may be cleared for live batting practice. Freeman, who was hitting .412 with a homer and seven RBIs after five games, was angry when told he was being put on the DL, but the Braves decided to err on the side of caution. He is eligible to be activated on Monday.
LHP Luis Avilan appeared to tear his left hamstring trying to deliver a pitch in the ninth inning against the Royals on Tuesday. “Obviously, the way he fell down, it doesn’t look good,” Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. “I’m thinking worse-case scenario.” Avilan came in having allowed three hits and no runs in four innings. He was charged with a balk on the attempted pitch and a run scored after he left the game. Avilan was 1-0 with a 2.00 ERA in 31 appearances after being promoted from the minors at midseason last year.
MLB power rankings: Atlanta Braves and defending World Series champion SF Giants leading the way
1. Atlanta Braves (11-1): We miss Chipper Jones, but they apparently don’t.
2. San Francisco Giants (9-4): We’re trying to get their spot right this season.
3. Oakland A’s (9-4): The Bay Area’s really the baseball place to be, eh?
4. Arizona Diamondbacks (8-4): Coming to the Bronx for interleague Tuesday night. Feel the (yawn) excitement.
5. Colorado Rockies (8-4): Their altitude will doubtless drop over the coming weeks. See what we did there?