Upton brothers homer, Braves beat Phillies 4-2
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The Uptons used their bats and their arms to lift the Atlanta Braves to the win.
Brothers B.J. and Justin Upton each homered and had an outfield assist, and the Braves held on for a 4-2 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies on Saturday night.
Justin Upton also doubled for the Braves, who won for just the third time in 15 games and are 6-18 in a forgettable September.
According to Elias Sports Bureau, the Uptons are the first brothers to homer and record an outfield assist in the same game since 1900.
“That’s one feat right there,” Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. “That’s really something special. They can share that for the rest of their lives. Both guys are so talented on both sides of the ball.”
Ryan Howard had three hits, including his 23rd homer, and two RBIs for Philadelphia.
Atlanta’s Aaron Harang (12-12) gave up two runs and eight hits in 6 2-3 innings.
“It’s really nice to finish the year strong and feel healthy,” Harang said. “It’s been very gratifying. The first day of spring training I didn’t even have a job.”
Craig Kimbrel pitched out of a jam in the ninth to earn his 46th save in 50 chances.
Marlon Byrd led off with a single and Domonic Brown reached when shortstop Andrelton Simmons booted a double-play ball. Tony Gwynn Jr.’s sacrifice moved the runners to second and third with one out. Kimbrel struck out Freddy Galvis before walking pinch-hitter Darin Ruf to load the bases.
Ben Revere lined out sharply to Simmons to end the game. Revere flung his helmet into foul territory after Simmons ranged to his right to make the catch.
Justin Upton doubled and scored in the second, and B.J. Upton gave Atlanta a 2-1 lead when he led off the third with a line drive to right for his 12th homer of the season.
Justin Upton threw out Chase Utley in the fourth from left field, and B.J. Upton nailed Wil Nieves trying to score from second in the fifth.
“It’s a pretty cool thing,” B.J. Upton said. “You really don’t think about things like that. The big thing is to win the ballgame and finish strong.”
Howard connected in the second, and then had a tying RBI single in the sixth. But Justin Upton put Atlanta in front for good with a majestic, two-run shot to left in the seventh off A.J. Burnett (8-18). It was the 29th homer for Justin Upton, who has a career-best 102 RBIs.
It was the third time this season that the Upton brothers homered in the same game and the sixth time in the last two years.
Burnett became the first Phillies pitcher to record 18 losses since Hall of Famer Steve Carlton went 13-20 in 1973, allowing four runs and five hits in 6 2-3 innings. The veteran right-hander has a player option to return in 2015 at $12.75 million, though he has been ambivalent about it during a disappointing season.
“Obviously a frustrating year,” Burnett said. “You come over here and expect to make an impact and you make the wrong impact. I gave them all I had. It’s been one of those years where not a lot’s gone right.”
He walked three batters, ending the season with 96 walks. Besides entering Saturday tied for the most losses in the majors, Burnett led baseball in walks.
Burnett said he would have hernia surgery next week, and then begin mulling whether to return in 2015.
Braves: LHP Alex Wood (left forearm strain) was scratched from his scheduled start for Sunday’s season finale. Wood ends the year with an 11-11 record with a 2.78 ERA.
Phillies: SS Jimmy Rollins missed his 18th straight game with a left hamstring strain.
Braves: Atlanta will use a bullpen by committee, beginning with James Russell, for Sunday’s finale. Russell is 0-0 with a 2.66 ERA in 21 relief appearances this season.
Phillies: LHP Cole Hamels (9-8, 2.47 ERA) faces the Braves for the first time since pitching the first six innings of a combined no-hitter on Sept. 1. Hamels is 2-0 with a 0.45 ERA in three starts against Atlanta this season.
Kimbrel has converted 25 straight save opportunities, the longest active streak in the majors.
Utley hustled to a double in the fourth inning, giving him 36 doubles on the season. That’s his best total since 2008 when he had 41.