LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — Justin Upton looks ready to start the season. Kris Medlen may need some more work.
Upton was 3-for-3 with two homers and six RBIs as the Atlanta Braves withstood a shaky outing by Medlen for a 17-10 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies on Monday.
Upton was in a 2-for-22 funk before getting two hits in his previous game Saturday against the New York Yankees and he now has five hits and a walk in his past six plate appearances.
“It’s spring training and you’re just trying to get your timing right, but it’s always nice to get some results,” said Upton, who is now hitting .292 with four homers and 15 RBIs in 18 games.
Freddie Freeman and Juan Francisco also hit home runs for the Braves, who scored six times in the first inning and finished with 19 hits. Francisco and Tyler Pastornicky each had three hits.
The Phillies had 17 hits themselves, including 14 off Medlen. He allowed five runs in the second inning and four in the fifth as his spring ERA jumped from 2.63 to 6.27.
“I’ve never had an outing like that in my life,” said Medlen, who was 9-0 with a 0.97 ERA after joining the Braves rotation last year.
But Phillies pitchers suffered as well.
“They were in the home run trot today,” Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said of the Braves. “Do we play them anymore before the season starts? Friday? That’s good. Maybe they can home run us to death and they won’t hit any during the season.”
The teams open play in Atlanta on April 1 and it will be the first regular-season debut together of the Uptons, the Braves’ big offseason acquisitions. B.J. still has the advantage in batting average over his brother his spring, batting.396 with a homer and eight RBIs.
“I’m getting more comfortable in the box with the more reps I get,” Justin said. “Hopefully you keep that routine through the year, stay healthy and grind out a season.”
Upton hit a two-run homer in the first inning off Rodrigo Lopez, connected for a three-run shot in the third off Colton Murray and had a RBI single in the fifth off Antonio Bastardo. He also drew a second-inning walk.
“Saturday I started to feel OK,” Upton said. “It’s starting to come along.”
Yuniesky Betancourt had four hits for the Phillies and Domonic Brown had three, including a home run.
“I’m not making any excuses,” Medlen said. “When I threw it, they hit it.”
“It was a weird game,” said Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez, who wasn’t just talking about Medlen’s unusual outing.
Freeman’s homer bounced off the glove of Phillies left fielder Darin Ruff, the teams combined for four errors as well as 36 hits and the Braves had a couple of communication breakdowns in the outfield.
NOTES: Braves closer Craig Kimbrel made his first appearance since returning from the World Baseball Classic and pitched a hitless sixth inning, striking out one. … Braves reliever Jordan Walden, sidelined by a bulging disk in his back for more than three weeks, threw live BP for a second time on Monday and is slated to pitch Wednesday against Pittsburgh. His only Grapefruit League appearance was Feb. 23. … The Braves have their second off day of the spring Tuesday. …Cliff Lee pitched six scoreless innings for the Phillies in a minor league game at Clearwater rather than make the trip to face the Braves. He allowed four hits, walked none and struck out nine, throwing 80 pitches.