Dan Uggla recorded his first home run of the 2013 spring training, a sixth inning solo shot, in the Atlanta Braves‘ 6-1 win over the Detroit Tigers on Sunday. Uggla struck the first pitch he saw off Tigers’ left-hander Duane Below over the left field wall. Entering Sunday, Uggla had just two singles in 18 at-bats this spring training with a team-high 10 strikeouts. We’ll see if Sunday’s bomb was a fluke or leads to some momentum for Uggla as the season nears.
Teammate B.J. Upton also hit his first home run this spring, driving an off-speed pitch off Doug Fister for a two-run shot. Upton’s .368 average in seven games this spring leads those expected to start on opening day. Out of his seven hits, four have gone for extra bases to help him compile a 1.053 OPS.
Left-hander Mike Minor got the start Sunday and was effective in his three innings of work. He allowed just one hit and issued a walk to hold the Tigers scoreless while notching three strikeouts. While Prince Fielder and Miguel Cabrera weren’t in the Tigers’ lineup, Minor’s outing was a major positive to Braves’ fans — especially the lone walk.
Notable relievers to follow Minor on Sunday were Jonny Venters and Cory Gearrin. Venters worked the fourth, allowing a hit and striking out a man in his scoreless inning. Gearrin did nothing but help his case to make the 25-man roster by working a scoreless fifth inning. Gearrin recorded two strikeouts while issuing a walk.
Strikeout Watch: The Braves struck out just four times on Sunday. Spring total is 68 in 10 games.
Upton Brothers: B.J. was 1-3 with the aforementioned home run along with a strikeout. Justin Upton was also 1-3 with an RBI double.
Third Base Competition: Juan Francisco started and finished 2-3 with two doubles and a run scored. Chris Johnson was 0-1 in a pinch-hitting role.
Up Next: Tim Hudson makes his third start of spring training against the New York Mets on Monday.