The game is not this easy, but you could have fooled the Braves. They took a tie game against the Royals into the eighth inning Tuesday night and turned it into batting practice. Jason Heyward, Justin Upton and Dan Uggla took turns seeing who could hit the ball the farthest in a three-home run barrage off Royals reliever Kelvin Herrera as the Braves ambushed the Royals 6-3 for their 10th win in a row. Those three swings in addition to Juan Francisco’s first multi-homer game gave the Braves a majors’ leading 25 home runs on the season. They strolled off with a series-opening win over the Royals in what had started out a pitching duel between Kris Medlen and Jeremy Guthrie for the first seven innings of the night. The Braves’ win streak (10) is now the team’s longest since they won an Atlanta-record 15 in a row from April 16-May 2, 2000. The Braves are 12-1 on the season, with the only loss coming the third game of the season, when Medlen was outdueled by Cliff Lee of the Phillies 2-0. The Braves didn’t come away unscathed though. The extra cushion in the ninth meant they could turn to Luis Avilan instead of closer Craig Kimbrel. But when going into his motion from the stretch with a 2-2 count on Billy Butler, Avilan went down grabbing the back of his left leg in the hamstring area. He had to be helped off the field by manager Fredi Gonzalez and trainer Jim Lovell and was driven off in a cart. Kimbrel came on in his place and worked around an RBI single by Alex Gordon. Avilan is one of the Braves’ primary left-handed set-up men and that much more important to the Braves given that Jonny Venters is out with an elbow injury. For a while Tuesday night it looked as if former Braves right fielder Jeff Francoeur would make the biggest mark on this game, with a go-ahead RBI single in the fourth and a throw home to gun down Andrelton Simmons at the plate to end the seventh. But the Braves’ current right fielder had something to say about that.
Braves play long-ball to beat Royals and move to 12-1 on the season
Atlanta Journal-Constitution | Apr 16