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(Monday, April 8th)
Final Score: Atlanta 2, Miami 0
Miami, FL (Sports Network) - Justin Upton homered and scored the game's only two runs, while Paul Maholm tossed seven innings of one-hit ball as the Atlanta Braves spoiled the Miami Marlins' home opener, taking the first of a three-game series, 2-0.
Upton, who went 4-for-4 with a double, also became the first player in Braves history with six home runs in his team's first seven games of the season.
Atlanta, at 6-1, is off to its best start since the 2007 squad opened the year with a 7-1 mark.
Maholm (2-0) struck out seven batters while walking three. The lefty was also sharp in his season debut last Wednesday, pitching 5 2/3 scoreless innings in a 9-2 victory over Philadelphia.
"I told (Upton) to just keep doing it when I pitch," Maholm said. "He's obviously one of the top players in the league. It's awesome that we were able to trade for him and get him in this lineup. It's fun to watch. Not having to face him, it's a lot better."
Placido Polanco and Rob Brantly provided the only two hits for the Marlins, losers of three straight. Starter Kevin Slowey (0-2) tossed seven innings, yielding two runs on six hits while striking out three in defeat.
"There are times you tip your hat and say this guy is hitting really well, and hope you don't have to face him in a key situation," Slowey said. "He did a wonderful job tonight."
Miami, which went 0-for-3 with runners in scoring position, never truly threatened until the ninth.
Craig Kimbrel picked up his third save of the season, but he had to work for it after walking Giancarlo Stanton to lead off the frame. Following a fielder's choice, Justin Ruggiano hit a deep fly to left, but Upton was there to make a nice over-the-shoulder catch.
With two outs, Brantly came through with just the second hit of the game for the home team to put runners on first and third. Adeiny Hechavarria, though, struck out swinging to end the game.
Atlanta got on the board in the fourth inning as Dan Uggla grounded out to short, scoring Upton, who doubled to lead off the frame and moved to third base on a flyout, to make it 1-0.
In the sixth, Upton crushed a 1-0 offering over the left-field wall to make it 2-0 in favor of the visitors.
Upton joined Jack Cust (2007 Oakland Athletics) as the only player with six homers in his first seven games of the season ... Slowey has not registered a win since Sept. 18, 2010 ... Atlanta went 7-2 at Marlins Park last year and took the series, 14-4 ... The Marlins, at 1-6, are off to their worst start since 2006.
04/09 00:13:42 ET
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