3/3/2013 3:35 P.M. ET
B.J. Upton, Uggla find power stroke against Tigers
By Mark Bowman / MLB.com
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- B.J. Upton and Dan Uggla both hit their first home runs of the Grapefruit League season, as the Braves cruised to a 6-1 win over the Tigers at Champion Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
Upton's two-run home run -- off of Doug Fister in the fourth inning -- added to the success he has experienced during the first week of the Grapefruit League season. The veteran center fielder, who was Atlanta's key offseason free-agent addition, is batting .368 (7-for-19) with three doubles and a home run through his first seven games.
Uggla ended his early Spring Training frustrations when he drilled a sixth inning solo home run off of Tigers left-hander Duane Below. The Braves' second baseman had struck out in seven of his previous 11 at-bats. He has just three hits through his first 21 at-bats this year.
After Tigers starting pitcher Max Scherzer proved perfect through two innings of work, Fister was charged with three earned runs and five hits in two innings. He surrendered a pair of doubles to Juan Francisco and a Freddie Freeman triple that preceded Upton's two-run home run in the fourth inning.
Francisco opened the third with a broken-bat double to shallow right field. This set the stage Ramiro Pena to open the scoring with a one-out RBI double to deep center field.
Braves starter Mike Minor allowed one hit and issued a walk in three scoreless innings. Minor recorded three strikeouts and recorded six fly-ball outs.
The Tigers' only run came courtesy of Aaron Westlake's solo home run off of Juan Jamie in the seventh inning.
Up next for the Braves: Tim Hudson will make his third start when the Braves take on the Mets at Port St. Lucie on Monday at 1:10 p.m. ET. Hudson has allowed two hits in his first five innings of the Grapefruit League season and the only two runs he has surrendered came via a long Prince Fielder home run. Jason Heyward and the Upton brothers are scheduled to make the trip to face Mets starter Jeremy Hefner. The game will be broadcast on MLB.TV and MLB Network.
Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.