Maholm And Upton Shine As Braves Blank Marlins 2-0

USA TODAY Sports

Paul Maholm pitched 7 innings of one-hit ball while Justin Upton went 4-4 with both Atlanta runs to lead the Braves to a 2-0 win over the Marlins.

It was a banner day in Miami for Frank Wren's trade acquisitions. Paul Maholm started the game and had no problems dismantling a mediocre Marlins lineup en route to throwing 7 shutout innings. The Braves offense started and ended with Justin Upton, who had a perfect day at the plate and scored both of Atlanta's runs en route to a 2-0 win.

The Braves offense started slowly against Kevin Slowey (I'm sorry) and was blanked through the first three frames. Slowey wasn't particularly dominant, as many Braves were making great contact but no one could seem to find the grass. That all changed when Justin Upton led off the top of the 4th with a smoked line drive into the right field corner for a double. Upton might have had a triple, but decided to be safe and pull up at second. A fly ball from Evan Gattis moved Upton to third, and he scored the game's first run a few pitches later when Dan Uggla plated him with an RBI groundout.

That 1-0 score would hold until the 6th inning when Upton again stepped into the batter's box. He took one pitch from Slowey before blasting a fastball deep to left. It was a mammoth home run and Upton knew it too. That made the score 2-0 in favor of Atlanta, a margin that would hold for the rest of the evening.

On the other side, Paul Maholm was masterful in shutting down the Marlins. Maholm pitched seven strong shutout innings, allowing only a single hit. He walked three and struck out seven while pounding the zone - 59 of his 98 pitches went for strikes. His sinker was working as well as he got 10 groundballs of the 14 putouts he recorded.

Eric O'Flaherty came on in relief of Maholm in the 8th and tossed a perfect inning on only 8 pitches. Craig Kimbrel came on in the ninth for the save and ran into a little bit of trouble, walking Giancarlo Stanton and allowing a single to Rob Brantly before getting shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria to strike out swinging on 4 straight fastballs.

Paul Maholm notched the win, improving to 2-0 on the young season. Craig Kimbrel's save was his 3rd of the year. Aside from Upton's perfect 4-4 night, only 3 other Braves managed hits. Atlanta's third base platoon continues to hit well as Chris Johnson went 3-4 on the evening and Juan Francisco went 2-4. Evan Gattis's single was the only other hit by a Brave.

Atlanta takes on the Marlins again tomorrow night, as Kris Medlen squares off again Wade LeBlanc. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 PM EST.

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