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(Friday, August 15)
Final Score: Atlanta 7, Oakland 2
Atlanta, GA (SportsNetwork.com) - Behind four home runs, including a three-run shot from Freddie Freeman, the Atlanta Braves slugged their way to a much- needed 7-2 win over the Oakland Athletics.
Phil Gosselin added a two-run blast -- his first career homer in the majors -- while finishing 2-for-4. Justin Upton and Evan Gattis also went deep to support six solid innings from Alex Wood.
The Braves entered Friday's contest having dropped 12 of their last 15 contests to fall six games back of Washington for first place in the NL East.
"We know every win counts," said Upton afterward. "It doesn't matter who it's against at this point. We've just got to go out there and get as many wins as we can at this point."
Wood (9-9) allowed a two-run homer to Nate Freiman but only three other hits to win his second straight start.
Counterpart Jason Hammel (1-5) lasted only three-plus innings for Oakland, with the right-hander surrendering five runs on six hits -- three of which left the park.
"I can't worry about what the hitters are going to do," said Hammel about his recent lack of run support. "I've got to do my job. My job is to prevent runs. If I'm worried about how many runs I get to work with, I'm going to be in trouble."
Derek Norris went 2-for-4 with a run scored for the A's, who have now lost five of six.
Upton began Atlanta's power barrage with a blast to left center to lead off the bottom of the second inning. Gattis made it a 2-0 lead two batters later by crushing Hammel's down-the-middle fastball well over the center-field wall.
More damage came in the third, as singles by Jason Heyward and Gosselin preceded Freeman's 17th homer of the year that staked the Braves to a 5-0 advantage.
"We put up some runs tonight, it was nice to see," said Upton. "We gave Alex a little cushion and he worked with it."
Wood, meanwhile, pitched around three early walks to keep Oakland off the board until Freiman followed a Norris double in the fourth with a long drive into the left-field seats.
The young lefty retired eight of the next nine hitters, however, before giving way to an Atlanta bullpen that was perfect over the final three frames, with David Carpenter, Jordan Walden and James Russell each firing a 1-2-3 inning.
Gosselin's first career homer, a shot to center that came after Heyward had reached on an error by Freiman, extended the Braves' lead in the sixth.
Oakland entered the matchup with an MLB-best 10-2 record in interleague play, while the Braves had the worst record in baseball in interleague games at 4-10 ... Gosselin was starting at shortstop in place of Andrelton Simmons, who sat out with an abscessed tooth ... Upton has now driven in a run in six straight games ... Oakland has scored three or fewer runs in 12 of its last 16 outings ... The teams were meeting for the first time since 2008.
08/15 23:16:31 ET
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