The Chipper Jones era came to a conclusion as the now retired third baseman threw out the first pitch instead of suiting up for the Braves. Atlanta would honor their former leader with a 7-5 victory on Opening Day over their NL East rival, the Philadelphia Phillies.
Once the game got rolling, it was Justin Upton (pictured) who ushered in the era of the Upton Bros. with a fifth inning home run. Justin and his brother B.J. were acquired this offseason to join with Jason Heyward to form an uber-athletic outfield. The former #1 and #2 overall picks in the MLB Draft have thus far had up and down careers.
First baseman Freddie Freeman stole the show, going 3-4 with a HR and 3 RBIs. Dan Uggla, second baseman for Atlanta, also belted a home run making it a very tough day for Philadelphia ace Cole Hamels.
Dan Uggla and Freddie Freeman also homered off Hamels, and Freeman added two more hits to overcome a shaky start for Braves starter Tim Hudson. The Braves led the majors in Spring Training with 49 home runs.
Despite the seven runs of support, Hudson failed to get the win because he could not finish the fifth inning. Chase Utley practically chased Hudson from the game himself, homering off Hudson in the fourth and then drviing in two more runs with a bases loaded single in the fifth.
For the AP story on the game, click here.