April 28, 2013; Detroit, MI, USA; Atlanta Braves center fielder B.J. Upton (2) sits in dugout during the seventh inning against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Morning Chop: Braves News 4/29


Huffington Post

Detroit Tigers Sweep Atlanta Braves With 8-3 Win To Finish 3-Game Series

April 28, 2013; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers third baseman Miguel Cabrera (24) hits a three run home run in the seventh inning against the Atlanta Braves at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Miguel Cabrera’s three-run homer in the seventh inning broke the game open, and the Detroit Tigers finished off a three-game sweep of the Atlanta Braves with an 8-3 victory Sunday night.

Austin Jackson and Omar Infante also homered for the Tigers, and Doug Fister (4-0) struck out eight in seven innings on a rainy night at Comerica Park.

Mike Minor (3-2) allowed a three-run homer to Jackson in the third, and although the Braves came back to tie it, Cabrera doubled and scored in the sixth to make it 4-3.



Doug Fister strikes out eight, Detroit Tigers power past Atlanta Braves in sweep

Game. Set. Match. It wasn’t a save situation, but Jose Valverde closed the door in the ninth inning, retiring all three batters he faced to preserve the Tigers’ 8-3 win over the Braves on Sunday.

Al Alburquerque walks Upton and throws a pair of wild pitches, but he strikes out the side — all looking. Alburquerque lowers his ERA to 1.54 and now has 21 strikeouts in 11 2/3 innings pitched. It’s his first appearance since his hip tightened up Wednesday.

Cabrera crushes a three-run home run off right-hander Cory Gearrin to give the Tigers a five-run lead lead. It comes three batters after Infante sent a hanging slider off Minor into the left-field seats.


Fox Sports

Hottest Upton on planet? It ain’t Kate

In his first month as an Atlanta Brave, he’s been the best player on the planet.

“That’s what we say,” teammate Reed Johnson affirmed. “He’s got 11 homers. He’s swinging the bat the way he is. We’re in the best league in the world. You can technically say, ‘Man, this guy is probably the best player in the world right now.”

The Braves are enamored with Upton now, and not only because of his .768 slugging percentage — although that helps.

“He’s one of the better teammates I’ve played with, and this is my 11th season,” Johnson said. “I’ve played with a lot of good people. He’s right up there with the best teammates I’ve been around.”

Hitting coach Greg Walker said Upton is among the team’s hardest workers, and manager Fredi Gonzalez acknowledged that Upton shares some traits in common with a certain right-handed batter from the first team he managed in the major leagues: Miguel Cabrera. Both can launch balls to right field that look as if they came off the bat of a left-handed hitter.

“Each year is a battle,” Upton said. “You learn new things. You learn more about yourself and what can make you better. The goal every year is to get better, so when it’s all said and done, if they say you were one of the best hitters they’ve seen, that’s the reward.”


The New York Times

Suddenly Struggling, Braves Fall to Tigers

Kris Medlen and the Atlanta Braves were probably due for a rough stretch. It is happening now for a team that looked like the class of the National League less than two weeks ago.

Medlen allowed a tiebreaking homer to Omar Infante in the fourth inning, and Atlanta lost at Detroit, 7-4, on Saturday. Medlen allowed five runs to the Tigers, matching a career worst.

Atlanta has won only three of seven since starting 12-1.

Rick Porcello (1-2) allowed three runs in six and a third innings.

Atlanta’s Justin Upton hit his major-league-leading 12th homer in the eighth, but Infante doubled home a run in the bottom half and scored to make it 7-4.



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