Braves Beat Cubs 4-1
ATLANTA (AP) — Justin Upton hit his third homer in four games and Mike Minor pitched into the eighth inning to help the Atlanta Braves beat the Chicago Cubs 4-1 on Friday night.
Juan Francisco had a two-run single and Minor (1-0) won his first start of the season, allowing one run and five hits in 7 1-3 innings. He walked none and struck out seven.
Eric O’Flaherty got two outs in the eighth and Craig Kimbrel threw eight pitches in a perfect ninth for his second save.
Making his Cubs debut, Scott Feldman (0-1) threw two wild pitches, hit a batter and had a fielding error in the fourth when he missed the bag in an attempt to cover first base.
Feldman gave up four runs, five hits and four walks in 4 2-3 innings.
Upton’s shot gave the Braves a 1-0 lead in the first. His sacrifice fly in the third drove in Andrelton Simmons to make it 2-0.
Feldman could only blame himself for the second run. He issued a leadoff walk to Simmons, who stole second and advanced to third on a wild pitch.
Minor’s one costly mistake came when Scott Hairston led off the fifth with a homer, his first, to make it 2-1.
Since the beginning of September last year, Minor is 5-0 with a 0.94 ERA in six starts. He also improved to 5-0 in five career starts against the Cubs.
Francisco used an inside-out swing with one out in the fifth to drive the ball into left field for a two-run single that made it 4-1.
That hit chased Feldman, who threw balls on 49 of his 102 pitches. Michael Bowden ended the inning on rookie Evan Gattis’ groundout.
Bowden faced the minimum over the next 2 1-3 innings. Hector Rondon faced four batters in the eighth.
Feldman, who spent his first eight seasons with Texas, is 0-6 with a 6.85 ERA over his last nine starts.
NOTES: New center fielder B.J. Upton reached base for the first time with the Braves when Feldman hit him with a pitch in the fifth. B.J. Upton, who is 0 for 14 with nine strikeouts this season, advanced to second on his first steal for Atlanta and scored on Francisco’s single. … Gattis went 3 for 4 and was the only player on either team with more than one hit. … Cubs SS Starlin Castro appeared in his 200th consecutive game, the NL’s longest active streak. … Before the game, Cubs manager Dale Sveum said Braves GM Frank Wren came to his office and asked that he keep Chicago players off the field while Atlanta was still taking batting practice. Some of the Cubs’ relievers were loosening up in left field with a few minutes left in the Braves’ allotted practice time. Sveum said he quickly obliged. “Realistically, two teams can’t be on the field at the same time, but obviously we all know at the end of (batting practice) that everybody always goes and throws and pretty much everybody’s work is done,” Sveum said. “The BP times got all goofed up, that’s part of it. Why all that happened, anyway.”
(© 2013 by STATS LLC and Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited.)