Justin Upton goes deep for Braves

Atlanta's Justin Upton hits a homer in the fourth inning of an exhibition game against Miami. It was the first hit of the spring for Upton, who was acquired in a deal with Arizona. The blast was estimated to be at least 450 feet.


KISSIMMEE, Fla. — Justin Upton was eager to get his first hit with the Atlanta Braves.

Boy, it was a memorable one Monday, even if it was just spring training.

Upton launched one of the longest home runs ever seen at the Disney World complex, a towering drive that cleared the grass berm beyond left field, as the Braves picked up their first win of the spring with a 7-6 victory over the Miami Marlins.

Upton’s teammates estimated the homer traveled at least 450 feet. He was thrilled just to get a hit after starting 0 for 6 this spring, having joined the Braves – and older brother B.J. – after a blockbuster trade with Arizona.

“I don’t know (how far it went). I don’t have a tape measure,” Justin Upton said. “I hit it good. Everything just happened to fall into place for me and I squared up. Obviously, you know when you’ve got it. The ball just leaves your bat differently when you catch one square. You more know from the sound. When you hear that sound, you know, ‘All right, I got that one pretty good.’”



In Scottsdale, Ariz., former Augusta GreenJacket Madison Bumgarner threw two scoreless innings in his first outing since the second game of the World Series, and San Francisco and Chicago played to a tie

Bumgarner walked one, struck out one and allowed two hits in an outing he deemed the first step to continued adjustments.



In Glendale, Ariz., Dontrelle Willis left because of a shoulder injury just seven pitches into his latest comeback try.

The 2003 NL Rookie of the Year signed a minor league contract with the Cubs in January.



In Goodyear, Ariz., Joey Votto hit a two-run homer, an encouraging sign that he’s progressing in his recovery from knee surgery that robbed him of his power last season.



In Phoenix, Cleveland left fielder Michael Brantley needed stitches in his left forearm after being spiked.

Brantley was spiked by third baseman Josh Donaldson in a play that ended the third inning. Brantley was taken to a hospital for stitches. He will be re-evaluated today.



In Clearwater, Fla.,Cliff Lee looked sharp in his spring debut for Philadelphia and reigning AL MVP Miguel Cabrera homered again for Detroit.



In Peoria, Ariz., AL Rookie of the Year winner Mike Trout singled in his first at-bat this spring and scored twice for Los Angeles in a loss to Seattle.

The 20-year-old Trout, the AL Rookie of the Year and runner-up in the MVP voting last season, also walked.

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BLOG: Batting Leadoff


Tue, 02/21/2017 - 23:43

MLB might make unilateral rule changes for 2018 season

PHOENIX — Major League Baseball intends to give the players’ association the required one-year advance notice that would allow management to unilaterally change the strike zone, install pitch clocks and limit trips to the pitcher’s mound starting in 2018. Read more

Tue, 02/21/2017 - 23:42