Paul Maholm had a decent debut with the Braves, eight strikeouts in seven innings. So then, what happened that kept the debut from being a great one?
Justin Maxwell happened.
Maxwell hit a pair of home runs and accounted for pretty much all of Houston's offense, earning himself four of his team's nine hits, supporting starter Lucas Harrell in defeating the Braves 3-2.
Maholm struck out four entering the fourth inning, but with two outs and a runner on first, Maxwell belted a two-run homer to give his team its first lead of the series. Meanwhile, Harrell demonstrated how he's earned one quarter of his team's wins. He allowed only three hits through the first five innings, striking out four and was about to finish the sixth inning before he ran into trouble.
Harrell retired the first two hitters in the sixth, but suddenly became wild, walking the bases loaded for Dan Uggla. Despite Uggla's prolonged struggles, he delivered a game-tying single to left, sending the crowd into a frenzy.
The frenzy must have made Justin Maxwell mad because leading off the seventh, Maxwell crushed a hanging curveball for a long home run to left, his second of the game to break the tie. Atlanta's offense went quietly the rest of the way, managing only one base runner that was erased on a game-ending double play.