Chicago at Atlanta

Chi. Cubs
W: E. O'Flaherty (1-0) L: C. Marmol (0-1)
HR: CHC - L. Valbuena (1),A. Rizzo (2)   ATL - J. Upton (4),B. Upton (1),J. Upton (5)

Upton's ninth-inning homer gives Braves win over Cubs wire reports

ATLANTA -- B.J. and Justin Upton never had the nerve to imagine an ending like the one they provided Saturday night -- not even after they both moved to the Atlanta Braves this offseason.

One brother homers to tie it in the ninth. The other homers to win it.

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"We'd never dreamed of being on the same team, much less coming out here and doing that," B.J. Upton said. "It's exciting."

B.J. led off the ninth inning with a homer and Justin followed one out later with another long ball that lifted the Braves past embattled Chicago Cubs closer Carlos Marmol for a 6-5 victory Saturday night.

Justin went 3 for 5 with two RBIs. He also homered in the first and now has five homers in Atlanta's first five games.

To have mother Yvonne and father Manny Upton in town all week and at the game for the brothers' heroics only made the night more special.

"Ah, man, I think right now, in my mind, it's No. 1," Justin Upton said. "It was exhilarating out there. We had a great time with it."

For B.J. Upton, the first week had been tough at the plate. He was 0 for 16 with nine strikeouts before his two-out infield single chased Cubs starter Carlos Villanueva in the seventh.

Feeling less pressure as he faced Marmol on a 3-1 count, B.J. Upton crushed the fifth fastball he saw into the left-field seats.

"I know it's there, but to get that first one out of the way, it's kind of the monkey off the back," he said. "Hopefully things will get rolling here."

The Braves rallied from a 5-1 deficit with three runs in the eighth off Kyuji Fujikawa and two in the ninth off Marmol.

Justin Upton's solo shot in the first inning made it 1-all. He followed with leadoff double in the eighth and scored the first of three Atlanta runs that cut the lead to 5-4.

Marmol's blown save, his second in three chances this week, wasted what would have been a victory for Villanueva.

The Cubs had taken a 5-1 lead on Nate Schierholtz's RBI single, Anthony Rizzo's two-run homer, Luis Valbuena's solo shot and Wellington Castillo's RBI single, but Chicago left the bases loaded against Anthony Varvaro and Cory Gearrin in the eighth.

Eric O'Flaherty (1-0) pitched a scoreless ninth despite allowing a hit and walk.

Marmol (0-1) gave up two hits, both solo homers, in one-third of an inning. His ERA ballooned to 27.00.

Marmol had already been through a tough week. He was pulled from a save situation after facing four batters and not recording an out in Chicago's win at Pittsburgh on opening day, but he earned a save on Thursday against the Pirates despite giving up two ninth-inning runs.

Marmol blames poor location of his pitches with his most recent struggles.

"I'm trying, I'm trying," he said. "I don't lack confidence. They're hitting my pitches, though. My pitches were working. I just missed the pitch."

The Upton brothers, major offseason acquisitions for Atlanta, became the 25th tandem of brothers to homer in the same major league game and the first since Adam and Andy LaRoche accomplished the feat for Pittsburgh on June 17, 2009.

Making his first start since signing with the Cubs as a free agent in the offseason, Villanueva gave up six hits, one run and two walks in 6 2/3 innings. He struck out six.

Rizzo was 1 for 14 when his second homer of the season gave the Cubs a 4-1 lead. Schierholtz followed with a double and scored from second on Castillo's single to make it 5-1.

Villanueva began the game with a 12-18 and a 5.33 ERA in 44 career starts with Milwaukee and Toronto, but the right-hander settled down after Upton's solo shot made it 1-all in the first.

Braves starting pitcher Julio Teheran allowed eight hits, five runs and one walk with two strikeouts in five innings. The 22-year-old right-hander is 1-2 with a 5.79 ERA in five career starts.

Valbuena's first homer put the Cubs up 2-1 in the fourth. After the Cubs' three-run fifth, Teheran left for a pinch-hitter.

Chicago loaded the bases in the eighth off Varvaro, but earned nothing for the effort. After second baseman Uggla threw to catcher Gerald Laird for a forceout, reliever Gearrin retired Starlin Castro on a flyout and struck out Rizzo.

That set the stage for Atlanta's three-run eighth. Freddie Freeman's RBI single scored Justin Upton, and Ramiro Pena followed with a two-run single to make it 5-4 off Fujikawa.

Then the Uptons stepped in against Marmol, but Justin Upton quickly pointed out that the Braves have plenty of power in their lineup besides him and B.J.

"If you don't get it done, you look to the next guy," he said. "You pass the baton and hope he picks you up. We've done a good job of that out of the gate. That's something we're going to really have to do for each other throughout the year."


  • The teams combined for 25 hits.
  • Braves SS Andrelton Simmons was out of the lineup with a sprained left thumb.
  • B.J. Upton batted in Simmons' leadoff spot.
  • Pena took Simmons' spot in the field and went 1 for 4 as the No. 8 hitter.
  • Teheran had his first career hit with a single in the third.
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.
Justin Upton goes 3 for 5 with two RBIs. His two homers against the Cubs give him five in the Braves' first five games. (Getty Images)
Justin Upton goes 3 for 5 with two RBIs. His two homers against the Cubs give him five in the Braves' first five games. (Getty Images)

Players of the Game

A. Rizzo
AB 5
R 1
H 2
HR 1

J. Upton
AB 5
R 3
H 3
HR 2

Related Video

Chicago Cubs
David DeJesus, CF5110004 .067
Starlin Castro, SS5110004 .190
Anthony Rizzo, 1B5122014 .176
Alfonso Soriano, LF4010100 .158
Nate Schierholtz, RF5121001 .364
Welington Castillo, C5021014 .357
Luis Valbuena, 3B4121111 .154
Alberto Gonzalez, 2B5010012 .250
Carlos Villanueva, P3010000 .333
    James Russell, P0000000 .000
   a- Steve Clevenger, PH0000100 .000
    Kyuji Fujikawa, P0000000 .000
    Carlos Marmol, P0000000 .000
a-walked for Russell in the 8th
2B - David DeJesus (1, Teheran), Nate Schierholtz (1, Teheran)
HR - Anthony Rizzo (2, Teheran), Luis Valbuena (1, Teheran)
RBI - Anthony Rizzo 2 (4), Nate Schierholtz (3), Welington Castillo (2), Luis Valbuena (1)
2-OUT RBI - Nate Schierholtz (3), Welington Castillo (1)
SB - Welington Castillo (1, 2nd base off O'Flaherty/Laird)
Team LOB - 12
DP - Gonzalez-Rizzo
Chicago Cubs
Carlos Villanueva 6.2611261 1.35
James Russell 0.1000000 0.00
Kyuji Fujikawa 1433110 11.57
Carlos Marmol (BS,1; L,0-1) 0.1222002 27.00
HBP - Heyward (by Carlos Villanueva)
WP - Kyuji Fujikawa (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Carlos Villanueva 92-60, James Russell 4-2, Kyuji Fujikawa 23-14, Carlos Marmol 13-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Carlos Villanueva 4-9, Kyuji Fujikawa 1-0
Batters Faced - Carlos Villanueva 28, James Russell 1, Kyuji Fujikawa 7, Carlos Marmol 3
Atlanta Braves
B.J. Upton, CF4121101 .111
Jason Heyward, RF3000101 .118
Justin Upton, LF5332023 .389
Freddie Freeman, 1B4111012 .412
Dan Uggla, 2B4110010 .200
Juan Francisco, 3B4010012 .250
Gerald Laird, C3020101 .400
Ramiro Pena, SS4012022 .143
Julio Teheran, P10100001.000
   a- Jordan Schafer, PH1000000 .000
    Cristhian Martinez, P0000000 .000
   b- Chris Johnson, PH1000000 .286
    Anthony Varvaro, P0000000 .000
    Cory Gearrin, P0000000 .000
   c- Reed Johnson, PH1000001 .000
    Eric O'Flaherty, P0000000 .000
a-flied out for Teheran in the 5th
b-lined out for Cr. Martinez in the 7th
c-grounded into a double play for Gearrin in the 8th
2B - Justin Upton (1, Fujikawa), Gerald Laird (2, Villanueva)
HR - B.J. Upton (1, Marmol), Justin Upton 2 (5, Villanueva, Marmol)
RBI - B.J. Upton (1), Justin Upton 2 (7), Freddie Freeman (7), Ramiro Pena 2 (2)
2-OUT RBI - Justin Upton (2)
CS - B.J. Upton (1, 2nd base by Villanueva/Castillo)
Team LOB - 8
E - Juan Francisco (2, Misplayed grounder)
Atlanta Braves
Julio Teheran 5855122 9.00
Cristhian Martinez 2200000 7.71
Anthony Varvaro 0.1200100 0.00
Cory Gearrin 0.2000010 0.00
Eric O'Flaherty (W,1-0) 1100110 3.38
Pitches-Strikes - Julio Teheran 88-61, Cristhian Martinez 24-16, Anthony Varvaro 20-12, Cory Gearrin 8-5, Eric O'Flaherty 19-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Julio Teheran 10-4, Cristhian Martinez 6-0, Anthony Varvaro 1-0, Eric O'Flaherty 1-1
Batters Faced - Julio Teheran 25, Cristhian Martinez 8, Anthony Varvaro 4, Cory Gearrin 2, Eric O'Flaherty 5
Game Information
Attendance - 38498
Game Time - 3:12
Temperature - 69
Umpires - Home - Ted Barrett, First Base - Alfonso Marquez, Second Base - Mike DiMuro, Third Base - Dan Bellino