Atlanta won their third straight and 10 of their last 14 behind the bats of Justin Upton and Jason Heyward Friday night. The pair combined to go 4 for 7 with a HR, four RBI, a walk and two runs scored, sparking a 5-2 victory against the Miami Marlins.
Ervin Santana struggled in the first inning throwing 35 of his 104 pitches in the first inning alone. He settled down to finish with six innings pitched, allowing five hits and four walks (three in the first inning), giving up one run and striking out seven. Santana left the game with a one run lead, but ending up taking a no-decision after reliever David Carpenter allowed a solo home run in the top of the seventh inning to light hitting pinch hitter Jordany Valdespin that tied the game.
The Marlins took a one run lead in the sixth after three straight singles from Casey McGehee, Garrett Jones, and Marcell Ozuna. A deep single by Ozuna plated McGehee, but a perfect relay from Heyward to Tommy La Stella to Evan Gattis cut down Jones at the plate.
Justin Upton erased the deficit in the bottom half of the inning with a 443-foot 2-run home run to center field, scoring Freeman, who had walked. Upton is now hitting .354 with 18 RBI in his last 12 games, and is not-so-quietly announcing his candidacy for the NL MVP award.
The Braves picked up three more runs in the seventh, with Heyward and Upton again in the middle of the party. Andrelton Simmons and Ramiro Pena singled, and Heyward followed with a single of his own that scored Simmons. Two batters later, Upton singled to center to score Heyward. Emilio Bonifacio, who had reached previously on a fielder’s choice, came around to score when Ozuna mishandled the ball for an error.
David Carpenter (5-3) took the victory for his fifth win of the season. Craig Kimbrel came on to record the final three outs for his 40th save.