|Kansas City (7-6)||0||0||1||1||0||0||0||0||1||3||9||1|
|Atlanta (12-1) «||0||1||0||0||0||0||1||4||x||6||9||3|
ATLANTA -- Justin Upton loves playing for a team with so many sluggers.
Now in his third week with the Atlanta Braves, Upton looks around the clubhouse and sees a solid starting rotation, a dependable bullpen and power -- lots and lots of power.
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"It's fun when you can do that," Upton said. "But our goal is to go out and play good baseball every night, pitch well, play good defense, put together good at-bats and we've been able to do that so far."
Upton, Jason Heyward and Dan Uggla homered in the eighth inning, and Juan Francisco hit a pair of solo shots earlier in the game to help the Braves win their 10th straight with a 6-3 victory against the Kansas City Royals on Tuesday night.
Atlanta's 10-game winning streak is its longest since the club won 15 straight from April 15-May 2, 2000. The Braves are 12-1 and off to their best start since they began the 1994 season 13-1.
Eric O'Flaherty (3-0) allowed one hit and struck out two in a scoreless eighth for the win in relief.
Heyward's second home run, Upton's eighth and Uggla's third were solo shots off Kelvin Herrera (1-1), who gave up three hits, four runs and one walk in two-thirds of an inning. The Braves have outhomered opponents 25-7 and outscored opponents 68-25 for the best run differential in the majors.
"You know the power is there," Atlanta manager Fredi Gonzalez. "That doesn't surprise you. It's nice to have that type of arsenal in your club because it's a game-changer. One swing of the bat and you can put some runs on the board, so that's always nice."
Heyward hit the go-ahead homer in the eighth with an opposite-field shot into the left-field seats before Upton and Uggla followed to make it 5-2.
Luis Avilan recorded the first out of the ninth before seeming to injure his left hamstring. Avilan limped slowly off the field with the help of trainer Jim Lovell and Gonzalez before getting carted off the field.
Closer Craig Kimbrel finished off the Royals by striking out pinch-hitter Billy Butler, giving up an RBI single to Alex Gordon and retiring Alcides Escobar on a groundout. It was a non-save situation for Kimbrel.
The Royals, who have lost three of four, led 2-1 in the fourth when Salvador Perez reached on Francisco's throwing error, moved to second on Mike Moustakas' single and scored on Jeff Francoeur's RBI single.
Except for Francisco, who hit his second homer to make it 1-0 in the second and his third to tie it at 2 in the seventh, the Braves were unable to do much against Kansas City starting pitcher Jeremy Guthrie.
Atlanta's first five batters were a combined 0 for 14 with one walk and five strikeouts against Guthrie, who gave up five hits, two runs and one walk with six strikeouts in seven innings. Guthrie was trying to win his eighth straight decision dating to last August.
"It's too bad we lost," Getz said. "Too bad [the homer drought] took so long. I saw it on the board while I was hitting, so it definitely added to the satisfaction."
Medlen, who was trying to improve to 17-3 in his career as a starter, allowed six hits and two runs -- one earned -- with no walks and five strikeouts in seven innings.
"Any time you can do like our pitching staff did and hold us in the game and keep it close and give us a chance to win it late, that fires us up and makes us want to go out and get a good ballgame for them," Upton said. "Kris did a great job tonight and kept them [mostly] off the board and gave us a chance."
|Jason Heyward (right) and Justin Upton each contribute a homer in the eighth inning in the Braves' win over the Royals. (Getty Images)|
|Players of the Game|
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|Kansas City Royals|
|Alex Gordon, LF||5||0||2||1||0||0||1||.375|
|Alcides Escobar, SS||5||0||0||0||0||1||3||.226|
|Eric Hosmer, 1B||4||0||0||0||0||2||0||.242|
|Salvador Perez, C||4||1||0||0||0||1||0||.259|
|Lorenzo Cain, CF||4||0||2||0||0||1||1||.302|
|Mike Moustakas, 3B||4||0||1||0||0||1||3||.167|
|Jeff Francoeur, RF||4||0||2||1||0||0||1||.261|
|Chris Getz, 2B||4||2||1||1||0||1||3||.300|
|Jeremy Guthrie, P||2||0||1||0||0||0||0||.500|
|Kelvin Herrera, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Aaron Crow, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a- Billy Butler, PH||1||0||0||0||0||1||1||.250|
|a-struck out for Crow in the 9th|
|HR - Chris Getz (1, Medlen)|
|RBI - Alex Gordon (9), Jeff Francoeur (3), Chris Getz (6)|
|2-OUT RBI - Alex Gordon (6), Jeff Francoeur (1)|
|Team LOB - 8|
|Outfield Assists - Jeff Francoeur 1|
|E - Alcides Escobar (2, Misplayed grounder)|
|Kansas City Royals|
|Kelvin Herrera (L,1-1)||0.2||3||4||4||1||0||3||6.00|
|WP - Jeremy Guthrie (1)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Jeremy Guthrie 91-61, Kelvin Herrera 16-10, Aaron Crow 16-10|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jeremy Guthrie 7-8, Kelvin Herrera 1-1|
|Batters Faced - Jeremy Guthrie 27, Kelvin Herrera 6, Aaron Crow 2|
|B.J. Upton, CF||3||0||0||0||1||0||1||.152|
|Jason Heyward, RF||4||1||1||1||0||1||1||.116|
|Justin Upton, LF||4||1||1||1||0||1||1||.340|
|Evan Gattis, C||4||0||0||0||0||2||0||.289|
|Dan Uggla, 2B||4||1||1||1||0||1||0||.178|
|Juan Francisco, 3B||3||2||2||2||1||0||0||.306|
|Jordan Schafer, PR||0||1||0||0||0||0||0||.571|
|Luis Avilan, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Craig Kimbrel, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Chris Johnson, 1B||4||0||2||1||0||1||0||.415|
|Andrelton Simmons, SS||4||0||1||0||0||0||2||.214|
|Kris Medlen, P||2||0||0||0||0||0||1||.000|
|a- Blake DeWitt, PH||1||0||1||0||0||0||1||.500|
|Eric O'Flaherty, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Ramiro Pena, 3B||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.333|
|a-doubled for Medlen in the 7th|
|2B - Chris Johnson (2, Guthrie), Blake DeWitt (1, Guthrie)|
|HR - Jason Heyward (2, Herrera), Justin Upton (8, Herrera), Dan Uggla (3, Herrera), Juan Francisco 2 (3, Guthrie, Guthrie)|
|RBI - Jason Heyward (5), Justin Upton (12), Dan Uggla (4), Juan Francisco 2 (7), Chris Johnson (5)|
|2-OUT RBI - Dan Uggla (1), Juan Francisco (6), Chris Johnson (5)|
|SB - Jordan Schafer (2, 2nd base off Crow/Perez)|
|Team LOB - 5|
|DP - Uggla-Simmons-Johnson|
|E - Juan Francisco (3, Throwing), Evan Gattis (2, Interference), Dan Uggla (4, Misplayed grounder)|
|Eric O'Flaherty (W,3-0)||1||1||0||0||0||2||0||2.35|
|WP - Luis Avilan (1)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Kris Medlen 98-73, Eric O'Flaherty 18-12, Luis Avilan 7-5, Craig Kimbrel 13-10|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Kris Medlen 9-8, Luis Avilan 1-0, Craig Kimbrel 1-0|
|Batters Faced - Kris Medlen 29, Eric O'Flaherty 4, Luis Avilan 2, Craig Kimbrel 3|
|Attendance - 26400|
|Game Time - 2:36|
|Temperature - 78|
|Umpires - Home - Angel Hernandez, First Base - Doug Eddings, Second Base - John Tumpane, Third Base - Dana DeMuth|