Kissimmee, FL — The Atlanta Braves and Philadelphia Phillies put on an offensive show today in Grapefruit League action with the Braves coming out on top 17-10 at Champion Stadium in the ESPN Sports Complex.
Left fielder Juston Upton, the former Arizona Diamondback, homered twice in Atlanta’s 19-hit attack, the first against Phillies starter Rodrigo Lopez in the opening inning, and then again in the third off of reliever Colton Murray. Upton was three for three in the contest with six RBI.
Center fielder B.J. Upton, Justin’s brother and the ex-Tampa Bay Ray who signed with the Braves as a free agent, went one for four with a double in the game.
Lopez, the losing pitcher for the visiting Phillies, gave up seven hits and six runs in the first inning and a total of eight hits and eight runs in just two innings of work.
Phillies starter Kris Medlen — who ultimately was credited with the win — was almost equally shaky, allowing five runs on seven hits in the second inning. In five innings of work, and he barely made it out of the fifth, Medlen tossed 84 pitches and was charged with 14 hits and nine earned runs.
Juan Francisco, who is trying to become the Braves’ regular third baseman, stroked a two-RBI singled against Lopez in the first and homered against reliever Michael Stutes in the fourth. Phillies right fielder Domonic Brown and first baseman Freddie Freeman both homered against Medlen. Phillies superstar first baseman Ryan Howard went two for four on the day and scored two runs.
Philadelphia — which tallied 17 hits overall — left seven men on base, while Atlanta stranded six.
The Braves play their Spring Training home games at Champion Stadium, located at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Kissimmee, Florida, near Lake Buena Vista and Walt Disney World in Orlando. About 8,000 fans were in attendance for this afternoon’s game. After today’s action, the Braves are 14-11 and 6-7 at Champion Stadium. The Phillies are 10-12 so far, with a 4-7 away mark.
Coming off a 2011 late-season collapse similar to what happened to the Boston Red Sox, Atlanta returned to the postseason as a Wild Card team in 2012, with a regular season record of 94-68. They lost, however, to the St. Louis Cardinals in the one-game National League Wild Card playoff. In 2012, the Phillies finished in 3rd place (and out of the post-season) in the NL East with a record of 81-81 after winning the division in 2011.
— MLB (@MLB) March 18, 2013
[Photos by Robert Jonathan]