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Atlanta Braves: Lineup as Good as Advertised

Upton returns to the dugout after launching his first Braves homer
Upton returns to the dugout after launching his first Braves homerKevin C. Cox/Getty Images
Morgan CarterCorrespondent IApril 2, 2013

The Braves started off the 2013 season on the right foot with a 7-5 victory over Philadelphia.

And the atmosphere at Turner Field was electric. 

The offseason acquisitions of B.J. and Justin Upton created a buzz around the Braves, and fans were even more excited when they learned Chipper Jones would be throwing out the first pitch. 

While Atlanta's lineup may be tested throughout the year, Opening Day was all positives. 

Home runs from Freddie Freeman, Dan Uggla and Justin Upton brought Braves fans to their feet. And how pretty was Justin Upton's swing?

Hopefully this will be a sign of plenty more power from the Braves throughout the season.

Tim Hudson pitched well until running out of gas in the fifth inning, giving up two runs before being pulled.  We may just have to get used to this situation with Tim, he's already up there in age and will need solid play from his defense every single night. 

The Braves received great bullpen work from Luis Avilan (W, 1-0) and Craig Kimbrel (S, 1), both with scoreless outings.  Avilan kept the Phillies from taking the lead and the Braves tacked on three insurance runs.

Even Gerald Laird played well, collecting two hits and an RBI. 

And hopefully we won't have to wait too long to see the debut of Evan Gattis, whose swings have generated Paul Bunyan references and Chuck Norris jokes.

I held my breath every time a ball was hit to Chris Johnson, and B.J. Upton looked a bit too amped up to be playing with his brother. 

But otherwise it was a solid effort and a good night for Atlanta.

It was very nice to see the Braves do well against their kryptonite for the past few years, a lefty pitcher, especially one with a nasty changeup. 

The Braves have a day off on Tuesday and play Game 2 against the Phillies on Wednesday.  Paul Maholm will square off against Roy Halladay.


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