Philadelphia at Atlanta

W: L. Avilan (1-0) L: C. Hamels (0-1) S: C. Kimbrel (1)
HR: PHI - C. Utley (1)   ATL - F. Freeman (1),D. Uggla (1),J. Upton (1)

Freeman's HR, three RBI lead Braves over Hamels, Phillies wire reports

ATLANTA -- The Braves brought their home-run bats north from spring training to spoil Cole Hamels' first opening day start.

Freddie Freeman drove in three runs with three hits, including the first of three Atlanta home runs Monday night, and the Braves beat Hamels and the Philadelphia Phillies 7-5 on opening day.

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Dan Uggla and Justin Upton, making his Braves debut, also homered for Atlanta, which led National League teams with 49 in spring training.

Some observers have suggested the free-swinging Braves might lead the NL in strikeouts instead of home runs. Uggla says the positive results will make up for the whiffs.

"We're not trying to hold back," Uggla said. "If it costs some strikeouts in situations, then that's what it's going to take, because we have the power to go blow for blow with anybody."

Hamels (0-1) gave up five runs on seven hits, including the three homers, with five strikeouts and one walk in five innings. The three homers allowed matched his high from last season.

"They're going to hit a lot of home runs," Hamels said. "Obviously, to keep them from hitting home runs you have to keep the ball down. I wasn't able to do that."

The left-hander said he had trouble locating his fastball.

"You have to be able to establish the fastball and I wasn't able to do that as much as I would like," Hamels said.

Freeman led the Braves with seven home runs in spring training. Hitting cleanup in Atlanta's new-look lineup which includes outfielders Justin Upton and B.J. Upton, Freeman gave Atlanta the lead with his two-run homer into the Braves' bullpen in the first inning. The two-out homer drove in Jason Heyward, who walked.

Uggla led off the second inning with the Braves' second homer into the left-field seats. Justin Upton added a line-drive homer to left-center in the fifth.

The power display was encouraging to Tim Hudson, even though he didn't remain in the game long enough to earn the win.

"It's going to be great to watch all year," Hudson said. "I feel very happy with what we're throwing out there one through nine. I'm excited to see what we're going to do all year."

Hudson gave up six hits and three runs in 4 1/3 innings. Hudson had a 4-0 lead before Chase Utley led off the fourth with a homer and drove in two runs with a bases-loaded single in the fifth. Utley tripled in the seventh for his third hit and scored on Ryan Howard's groundout.

Luis Avilan (1-0) took over for Hudson and pitched 1 2/3 scoreless innings. Craig Kimbrel pitched a perfect ninth inning for the save.

The Braves brought out some of their past stars for pregame ceremonies. Dale Murphy was the honorary captain, newly retired Chipper Jones threw out the first pitch -- firing a strike to Brian McCann -- and Phil Niekro was handed a microphone and yelled "Play ball!"

Jones retired after last season, ending a career that lasted almost two decades -- all with the Braves. "I'm missing it today, but I won't miss it tomorrow," Jones said as he sat in the Braves' dugout before the game.

Upton's homer came after Utley's bases-loaded single off Hudson in the top of the fifth cut Atlanta's lead to 4-3.

Atlanta scored two runs off Chad Durbin in the sixth. Durbin walked Uggla, who moved to third on Chris Johnson's double. Gerald Laird added a run-scoring single and Johnson scored on pinch-hitter Reed Johnson's double-play grounder.

John Mayberry Jr. doubled off Jordan Walden in the eighth, moved to third on Walden's wild pitch, and scored on a single by Erik Kratz.


  • Attendance was 51,456, a sellout.
  • SS Jimmy Rollins made his 13th consecutive opening day start, the longest active streak in the majors. He passed Larry Bowa (1970-81) for the Phillies' longest streak by a shortstop.
  • The Braves had no update on LHP Jonny Venters, who opened the season on the 15-day disabled list with a sprained elbow and was examined Monday by Dr. James Andrews.
  • The teams are off Tuesday. Philadelphia RHP Roy Halladay will face Atlanta LHP Paul Maholm on Wednesday night.
  • Hamels ended Halladay's streak of 10 straight opening-day starts.
  • Former Braves manager Bobby Cox, sitting near the Atlanta dugout, drew an ovation when he was shown on the video board. Cox stood and waved to the fans.
Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
After leading the Braves with seven home runs in the spring, Freddie Freeman homers on opening day. (AP)
After leading the Braves with seven home runs in the spring, Freddie Freeman homers on opening day. (AP)

Players of the Game

F. Freeman
AB 4
R 1
H 3
HR 1

C. Utley
AB 5
R 2
H 3
HR 1

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June 16, 2017
Stock Down: Philadelphia Phillies (1:12)
Philadelphia Phillies
Ben Revere, CF4110112 .250
Jimmy Rollins, SS5010011 .200
Chase Utley, 2B5233000 .600
Ryan Howard, 1B5001012 .000
Michael Young, 3B2000210 .000
Domonic Brown, LF3010103 .333
John Mayberry Jr., RF4110012 .250
Erik Kratz, C4011010 .250
Cole Hamels, P2110000 .500
   a- Kevin Frandsen, PH10100001.000
    Chad Durbin, P0000000 .000
    Jeremy Horst, P0000000 .000
   b- Laynce Nix, PH1000001 .000
    Phillippe Aumont, P0000000 .000
a-singled for Hamels in the 6th
b-flied out for Horst in the 8th
2B - John Mayberry Jr. (1, Walden)
3B - Chase Utley (1, O'Flaherty)
HR - Chase Utley (1, Hudson)
RBI - Chase Utley 3 (3), Ryan Howard (1), Erik Kratz (1)
SB - Ben Revere (1, 2nd base off Hudson/Laird)
Team LOB - 8
DP - Horst-Rollins-Utley-Howard
Philadelphia Phillies
Cole Hamels (L,0-1) 5755153 9.00
Chad Durbin0222100 0.00
Jeremy Horst 2100020 0.00
Phillippe Aumont 1000110 0.00
Pitches-Strikes - Cole Hamels 89-58, Chad Durbin 8-4, Jeremy Horst 17-12, Phillippe Aumont 14-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Cole Hamels 4-6, Jeremy Horst 1-2, Phillippe Aumont 2-0
Batters Faced - Cole Hamels 23, Chad Durbin 3, Jeremy Horst 6, Phillippe Aumont 4
Atlanta Braves
Andrelton Simmons, SS4110002 .250
Jason Heyward, RF3100111 .000
Justin Upton, LF4111022 .250
Freddie Freeman, 1B4133010 .750
B.J. Upton, CF4000012 .000
Dan Uggla, 2B3211110 .333
Chris Johnson, 3B3120110 .667
Gerald Laird, C4021000 .500
Tim Hudson, P2000012 .000
    Luis Avilan, P0000000 .000
   a- Reed Johnson, PH1000000 .000
    Eric O'Flaherty, P0000000 .000
    Jordan Walden, P0000000 .000
   b- Ramiro Pena, PH1000001 .000
    Craig Kimbrel, P0000000 .000
a-grounded into a double play for Avilan in the 6th
b-grounded out for Walden in the 8th
2B - Andrelton Simmons (1, Hamels), Chris Johnson (1, Durbin), Gerald Laird (1, Hamels)
HR - Justin Upton (1, Hamels), Freddie Freeman (1, Hamels), Dan Uggla (1, Hamels)
RBI - Justin Upton (1), Freddie Freeman 3 (3), Dan Uggla (1), Gerald Laird (1)
2-OUT RBI - Freddie Freeman 3 (3)
Team LOB - 5
DP - Uggla-Simmons-Freeman
Atlanta Braves
Tim Hudson 4.1633331 6.23
Luis Avilan (W,1-0) 1.2100110 0.00
Eric O'Flaherty 1111000 9.00
Jordan Walden (H,1) 1211010 9.00
Craig Kimbrel (S,1) 1000010 0.00
IBB - Young by Luis Avilan
WP - Jordan Walden 2 (2)
Pitches-Strikes - Tim Hudson 90-58, Luis Avilan 22-13, Eric O'Flaherty 10-8, Jordan Walden 23-15, Craig Kimbrel 16-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Tim Hudson 7-2, Luis Avilan 2-2, Eric O'Flaherty 3-0
Batters Faced - Tim Hudson 21, Luis Avilan 7, Eric O'Flaherty 4, Jordan Walden 5, Craig Kimbrel 3
Game Information
Attendance - 51456
Game Time - 2:56
Temperature - 69
Umpires - Home - Tim Welke, First Base - Mike Everitt, Second Base - Marty Foster, Third Base - Scott Barry