Apr 3, 2013; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman (5) watches his double driving in three runs against the Philadelphia Phillies during the fourth inning at Turner Field. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
ATLANTA -- Justin Upton hit his second homer in as many games and Evan Gattis went deep in his major league debut, pacing the Atlanta Braves to a 9-2 victory over Roy Halladay and the Philadelphia Phillies on Wednesday night.
Upton, acquired in winter trade from Arizona, hit a two-run homer in the first inning and Gattis hit a leadoff home run in the fourth. The catcher, who had struck out in his first at-bat, is the seventh Atlanta player to homer in his first game.
Jason Heyward made it a second straight three-homer game by the Braves with a two-run blast off Jonathan Papelbon in the eighth inning and Freddie Freeman had two hits, including and three-run double. Freeman is 5-for-7 with a homer and six RBIs in two games.
Braves starter Paul Maholm didn't need all the support, shutting out the Phillies on six hits through 5 innings. The left-hander struck out six and walked one, throwing 66 of his 97 pitches for strikes.
Halladay, who gave up six hits and three walks, was charged with five runs and needed 95 pitches to make it through 3 innings. Nine of the 10 outs he recorded came on strikeouts.
The two-time Cy Young Award winner fell off to 11 victories last season as his ERA jumped to 4.49 and he struggled during spring training, posting a 6.06 ERA. He came into the season needing one victory to reach the 200 milestone.
Maholm's outing was a continuation of his success in spring training, when he was 4-1 with a 1.53 ERA and didn't allow an earned run in his last 24 innings.
The Phillies' runs came in the seventh inning on a double by Chase Utley off Cristhian Martinez.
Rain began falling about a half hour before the first pitch and continued throughout the game. More rain and temperatures in the 40s are forecast for tonight's series finale.
Heyward singled with one out in the first and Upton followed with a long homer to right-center field. Halladay didn't get a 1-and-2 sinker down quite enough and Upton took him deep the opposite way with the 91-mph pitch.
Before Halladay could get his third strikeout in the 40-pitch first inning, the Braves added a third run on two walks and a single by Juan Francisco.
The first eight outs Halladay recorded came on strikeouts, including a streak of five in row from the final batter of the first inning to the opening hitter of the third.
But Gattis led off the fourth inning by connecting with a 1-and-1 cutter clocked at 88 mph, his drive just clearing the fence in left-center field. Soon afterwards, the Braves had broken the game open.
Halladay was pulled after Andrelton Simmons followed with a one-out single and reliever Raul Valdes issued two walks before Freeman delivered a three-run double off the left-hander to make it 7-0.
Notes: LHP Jonny Venters, who will be shut down for the next four weeks, hopes to avoid a second Tommy John elbow surgery. An MRI was inconclusive and the reliever received a platelet-rich plasma injection from Dr. James Andrews in Florida on Tuesday. "Hopefully when they let me pick up a ball again, it will feel good," Venters said Wednesday. "I'm upbeat and positive." ... RHP Kris Medlen goes into his start against the Phillies in the series finale Thursday trying to extend a major-league record streak. The Braves have won the last 23 games he has started dating back to 2010. Medlen was 9-0 with a 0.97 ERA as a starter last season. ... LHP Cliff Lee, who will oppose Medlen, didn't get a victory last year until his 14th start. ... C Evan Gattis got a start in his major league debut for the Braves on Wednesday. ... OF Ezequiel Carrera joined the Phillies on Wednesday after being claimed off waivers from Cleveland the day before. To make room for Carrera, the Phillies designated Rule 5 draft pick OF Ender Inciarte for assignment.