Braves cruise past Phillies

12:02 AM, Apr 4, 2013   |    comments
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Atlanta, GA (Sports Network) - Justin Upton and Jason Heyward each hit two-run homers, Evan Gattis added a solo shot and the Atlanta Braves knocked out Roy Halladay in the fourth inning in a 9-2 drubbing of the Philadelphia Phillies at a rainy Turner Field.

Freddie Freeman went 2-for-3 with a three-run double to follow up his three- hit, three-RBI performance in Atlanta's season-opening win on Monday.

Paul Maholm (1-0) scattered six hits and a walk over 5 2/3 scoreless frames to pick up the victory, while Halladay (0-1) surrendered five runs on six hits with an uncharacteristic three walks over 3 1/3 innings.

Chase Utley drove in both of Philadelphia's runs with a double in the seventh, but by that time the Braves were working with a 7-0 cushion.

Halladay had his streak of 10 consecutive Opening Day starts end Monday when Cole Hamels got the nod for the Phillies, who were somewhat cautious with the two-time Cy Young Award winner because of a rough spring training following his injury-ridden 2012 campaign.

Those concerns became reality when Halladay labored through a 40-pitch first inning and never fully recovered despite finishing with nine punchouts.

Heyward reached on a broken-bat single before Upton sent a low 1-2 offering just over the wall in right-center for his second homer in as many games with his new club. The usually-controlled Halladay walked two of the next three hitters, then gave up a run-scoring base hit to Juan Francisco.

Though the first seven outs he recorded were strikeouts, Halladay was clearly not at his best, as Gattis led off the fourth with a home run to left field. It was the 26-year-old catcher's second career at-bat.

Halladay was mercifully pulled later in the inning after Andrelton Simmons sent his 95th pitch into center field for a single. Raul Valdes entered from the bullpen and walked the first two hitters he faced to load the bases, and Freeman promptly cleared them with a gapper to left field for a 7-0 lead.

Maholm stranded runners in each of the first four innings -- three in scoring position -- and left during the sixth after throwing 97 pitches.

Heyward's two-run blast in the eighth came off Jonathan Papelbon.

Game Notes

The Braves go for the three-game sweep on Thursday with Kris Medlen toeing the rubber opposite Cliff Lee ... Heyward scored three runs ... The Phillies went 1-for-11 with runners in scoring position and stranded nine ... Halladay was searching for career win No. 200.

 

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