ATLANTA - Jason Heyward, Justin Upton
and Dan Uggla
blasted home runs in the eighth inning, and the Atlanta Braves
ran their winning streak to 10 games with a 6-3 interleague victory over Kansas City on Tuesday night.
The home runs, off shell-shocked Royals reliever Kelvin Herrera, came within a span of four batters and gave the red-shot Braves five home runs for the game. Juan Francisco
had homered twice earlier off Kansas City starter Jeremy Guthrie.
Heyward hit his second of the season with one out in the eighth to break a 2-2 tie, and Upton made it consecutive homers with his eighth of the year. Then Uggla connected with two outs off Herrera for his third homer of the season.
Chris Johnson drove in the fourth run of the inning with a single as the Braves improved to 12-1. They can match their 13-1 start of 1994 with a victory over the Royals on Wednesday in the finale of the two-game series.
Braves starter Kris Medlen allowed six hits and two runs (one unearned) in seven innings. He struck out five, walked none and threw 73 of his 99 pitches for strikes.
Guthrie was just as good, giving up five hits and two runs in his seven innings. He struck out six, walked one and threw 61 of his 91 pitches for strikes.
Luis Avilan came in after Eric O'Flaherty (who got the win) pitched a scoreless eighth inning and tore his left hamstring while pitching to his third batter. Craig Kimbrel had to come in and got the final two outs around an RBI hit by Alex Gordon.
The Braves had trailed 2-1 but tied the game when Francisco connected with Guthrie's 0-1 fastball and hit a towering drive over the center-field fence with one out in the seventh inning. But a strong throw from Royals right fielder Jeff Francoeur
kept the Braves from taking the lead in the inning.
Pinch-hitter Blake DeWitt followed Andrelton Simmons' two-out hit with a double off the glove of center fielder Lorenzo Cain. But Francoeur quickly retrieved the ball and threw a strike to catcher Salvador Perez, who had the ball waiting for Simmons.
Francisco picked on a 1-0 off-speed pitch from Guthrie and drove his second homer of the season into the right-field stands with two outs in the second inning to put the Braves ahead.
But the Royals quickly got the run back in an unlikely way.
Chris Getz, who hadn't homered since July 19, 2009, pulled Medlen's misplaced 0-2 fastball into the right-field seats, not far from where Francisco's homer had landed.
It was just the third homer in 383 major league games for Getz and broke a drought of 954 plate appearances. The second baseman had last hit a homer while with the Chicago White Sox against Guthrie, then with Baltimore.
An unearned run set up by third baseman Francisco's throwing error put Kansas City ahead in the fourth inning. Mike Moustakas singled with two outs and Francoeur did the same, driving in Perez with the run.
Notes: The two-game interleague series concludes with a 12:10 p.m. ET game Wednesday. Left-hander Mike Minor (2-0, 0.69 ERA) will start for the Braves against right-handed Wade Davis (1-0, 4.00 ERA). .... With both teams off on Monday, Jackie Robinson Day was observed on Tuesday, with everyone wearing No. 42 in tribute to the major league pioneer and Hall of Famer. ... With no designated hitter, Billy Butler started the game on the bench for the Royals. ... This is the second series that Kansas City pitchers have had to hit despite the season being barely two weeks old. The Royals played interleague games at Philadelphia on April 5-7. ... Royals manager Ned Yost spent Monday's off day on his farm in LaGrange, 75 miles southwest of Atlanta, doing some hunting and fishing.
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