KISSIMMEE, Fla. — Justin Upton appears to be getting into regular-season form, only slightly behind brother B.J.
Justin was 3 for 3 with two homers and six RBI on Monday as the Atlanta Braves withstood a shaky outing by starter Kris Medlen in a 17-10 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies.
In a 2 for 22 slide before getting two hits Saturday against the New York Yankees, Justin Upton has gone 5 for 5 with a walk in his past six plate appearances.
“It’s spring training and you’re just trying to get your timing right, but it’s always nice to get some results,” said Upton, hitting .292 with four homers and 15 RBI in 18 games.
Freddie Freeman and Juan Francisco also homered for the Braves, who scored six times in the first inning and finished with 19 hits. Francisco and Tyler Pastornicky each had three hits.
“They were in the home-run trot today,” Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. “Do we play them anymore before the season starts? Friday? That’s good. Maybe they can home run us to death and they won’t hit any during the season.”
The teams open at Atlanta on April 1 in what figures to be the regular-season debut together of the Uptons, the Braves’ big off-season acquisitions. B.J. is batting.396 with a homer and eight RBI.
“I’m getting more comfortable in the box with the more reps I get,” Justin said. “Hopefully, you keep that routine through the year, stay healthy and grind out a season.”
Philadelphia had 17 hits, including 14 off Medlen. He allowed five runs in the second inning and four in the fifth as his ERA jumped from 2.63 to 6.27.
“I’ve never had an outing like that in my life,” said Medlen, who was 9-0 with a 0.97 ERA after joining the Braves’ rotation last year. “I’m not making any excuses.When I threw it, they hit it.”
Yuniesky Betancourt had four hits for the Phillies.
Freeman’s homer bounced off the glove of left fielder Darin Ruff.