The Atlanta Braves relied on the long ball, as both B.J. Upton and Justin Upton hit long home runs, and starting pitcher Aaron Harang did just enough to give the Braves a 3-2 series opening win against the Houston Astros. It was the 15th time the Braves had won a one-run game, and the 13th time the Astros had lost such a game.
Things didn’t start well for Harang, as he gave up a long, 465 feet to be exact, home run to Astros’ rookie sensation George Springer in the opening inning, but the big right-hander was able to settle down after that and allow just one more run over his six innings of work. It was seemingly unbelievable that he only allowed two runs and lasted 100 pitches, as he gave up six hits and walked a couple of more, which always made it seem like he was working himself out of trouble.
To open the game, the Braves were actually very thrifty with their base runners, having three of their first six baserunners come in to score, and that’s counting the Upton brother’s bombs. It wasn’t until later when they got back to their “Barves,” ways, when they already had the lead and didn’t have to worry about making a late game comeback.
Tonight also saw the debut of another new lineup, which left many scratching their heads as B.J. Upton was put into the leadoff spot, but a third inning home run made all of those people look and feel very silly, and if I were a betting man, I bet you I’d see B.J. back in the top spot for tomorrow. It could be a much needed change, honestly, as Tommy La Stella hasn’t been as good as he was when he first got the call up while in the leadoff spot. He’s simply not ready to have that kind of job to begin the game for the offense.
Tonight was a good win for the Atlanta Braves, as they got the awful taste of the last two games against the Washington Nationals out of their mouths. Game two is Wednesday evening, and we will see Alex Wood make his return to the Braves rotation (HURRAY!) against the ‘Stros and right-hander Collin McHugh.