The Atlanta Braves carried over their hot bats from their series sweep of the Arizona Diamondbacks into the opener with the Miami Marlins on Tuesday. The Braves pounded out a season-high 16 hits in the 11-3 win at Turner Field.
Tied at 2-2 in the third inning, Justin Upton tripled off Tom Koehler for his first of three hits. The Braves would take a one-run lead off a Freddie Freeman sacrifice fly that was dropped by Juan Pierre, resulting in Freeman standing at third and no outs. Koehler struck out two batters and induced a pop-up to end the inning, leaving an all too familiar feeling of stranding runners.
The sixth inning saw the Marlins tie the game when Derek Dietrich doubled off Kris Medlen and Greg Dobbs singled him home, but the bottom of the inning allowed the Braves to sink their teeth into the Marlins bullpen.
Upton, Freeman and McCann singled to start the sixth with the bases loaded and no outs, resulting in Dan Jennings being yanked for Ryan Webb. Webb struck out Dan Uggla and Reed Johnson, but Chris Johnson gave the Braves the lead once more with a two-run double, and Jordan Schafer and Andrelton Simmons each hit RBI-infield singles to cap off a three-run frame.
"This game of ours, it starts so innocently," Fredi Gonzalez said on braves.com. "A walk or a base hit or somebody miss-hits a ball or a base-hit bloop, and next thing you know, somebody puts a big number up."
Upton scored again in the seventh after he drew a lead-off walk and scored on McCann's double. After Simmons' RBI-triple in the eighth, Upton produced another run on an RBI-single before McCann collected another RBI-single.
Upton, McCann and Johnson each had three hits; Upton has two three-hit games over his last three games and is hitting .355 over his last eight games.
"As of late, I'm putting the barrel on the ball," Upton said. "I haven't been able to do that for a while. That's the goal every day. Whether you get four or five at-bats, you just want to be a tough out. I've been able to do that for the last week or so."
Medlen, meanwhile, was honest that he wasn't on his A-game, giving up a two-run homer to Logan Morrison in the first and the single Dobbs later on gave him three runs on nine hits over six innings. But since the Atlanta offense actually gave him some support, Medlen was able to pull of his sixth win of the season.
"You're going to go out there and not have your best stuff more times than not, honestly," Medlen said. "It comes down to heart and relying on your teammates."
The Braves have now won four straight games and possess a seven-game lead in the National League East.
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