Justin Upton collected three RBIs, including the go-ahead, two-run double in the top of the 14th, and the Atlanta bullpen shut down the Miami offense as the Braves took the opener of the three game series Monday night, 7-1.
Mike Minor started the game for the Braves and pitched very well, allowing just one run in 6 1/3 innings while striking out four. The only run Minor allowed came in the 5th inning as Justin Ruggiano delivered a two-out single that gave the Marlins the 1-0 lead.
The Braves would bounce back in the next half inning, when Jason Heyward led off the inning with a triple, and was brought home on a Justin Upton sacrifice fly. After that, it was a battle of the bullpens. The Braves were actually held hitless for seven straight innings until the 14th. The Braves’ bullpen was just as untouchable, as six relievers combined to cover the final 7 2/3 innings of shutout ball. David Carpenter pitched two of those innings, and picked up the win.
The offense woke up in a major way during the 14th. After Reed Johnson and Jason Heyward both reached via bases on balls, Justin Upton came through with a one out double, scoring two runs. Later in the inning, Gerald Laird, who took over for Brain McCann in the bottom of the 12th, delivered a bases loaded, two out single pushing the lead to 5-1. Chris Johnson kept the line moving, as he hit a single to left, which scored two more runs as the ball skipped past left fielder Justin Ruggiano.
Again, major kudos to the Braves’ bullpen. 7 2/3 scoreless innings, and only two hits allowed.
The series continues tomorrow night, as Julio Teheran takes the mound to face Henderson Alvarez. First pitch set for 7:10 pm ET