The Juice: Justin Upton homers in return to Chase Field, leading Atlanta Braves past Arizona Diamondbacks

David Brown
Big League Stew

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''It usually works out like this,'' Atlanta Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. ''When guys are traded, they have a good night.''

Whatever Fredi says. Braves slugger Justin Upton, who leads the majors in home runs, went deep for No. 13 on Monday night in his first game at Chase Field since the Arizona Diamondbacks traded him and Chris Johnson during the offseason. Upton had four hits and Johnson also homered for Atlanta, which beat Arizona 10-1. The Braves also have an early edge in a seven-player deal that sent Martin Prado to the D-backs in exchange for Upton, who was the top overall pick in the 2005 draft.

Upton received a nice ovation from the old home crowd when he stepped in for his first plate appearance, though boos seemed more noticeable as the night went along. His home run in the sixth inning snapped a 46 at-bat streak, spanning 14 games, without one.

More prodigal son action: Outfielder Rick Ankiel, just picked up by the New York Mets after being let go by the Houston Astros, nearly made a great catch on a blooper to rob Ty Wigginton of the St. Louis Cardinals — Ankiel's first major league team. But Ankiel, who had to use the glove of pitcher Jonathan Niese because Ankiel's equipment had not yet arrived, could not hang on after a dive.

''I do think if I have my glove it stays in there,'' Ankiel said. ''I'm the type of person, if I get a glove on it I feel I should have caught it.

''I didn't. It stinks.''

Wigginton later scored on some head's-up baserunning to help the Cardinals win 6-3.


Indians 1-0, Yankees 0-7: Cleveland's Justin Masterson pitched a four-hitter (all singles) in the doubleheader opener. Yankees rookie Vidal Nuno looked good over five innings in the nightcap, helping the Bronx improve to 24-14.

Royals 11, Angels 4: Billy Butler went 5 for 5 with five RBIs to help K.C. stop a three-game losing streak, and Los Angeles dropped to 0-8 in games started by Joe Blanton.

Brewers 5, Pirates 1: Milwaukee did one better, ending a four-game losing streak behind a strong seven innings by Marco Estrada and six stolen bases against backup catcher Mike McKenry. Pittsburgh also made three errors.

Tigers 7, Astros 2: New leadoff man Andy Dirks (Austin Jackson is hurt) hit a grand slam for Detroit.

Cubs 9, Rockies 1: Left-hander Travis Wood with some Hippo Vaughn-type consistency for the Cub.

Twins 10, White Sox 3: It's the Aaron Hicks Show, starring Aaron Hicks! With special guest, Aaron Hicks! Your co-host, Aaron Hicks! And your host, the man of the moment, Aaron Hicks!

Athletics 5, Rangers 1: Right-hander A.J. Griffin, along with sluggers Yoenis Cespedes and Brandon Moss, put a stop to an unseemly A's skid.

Nationals 6, Dodgers 2: Obscured in the worry over Bryce Harper not knowing where the playing field ends was another elite performance by Nats right-hander Jordan Zimmermann.

''You could tell he didn't know where he was at. He just kept asking me, 'Is it bad? Is it bad?' "

— Denard Span of the Nationals, on his conversation with Bryce Harper right after he ran into the right-field fence.

Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels can't even look as some dunderhead performs a striptease, briefly interrupting Kansas City's 11-4 victory.

• Moss hit a home run, the 7,000th in Oakland's history. The first was by Reggie Jackson in 1968.

• Chris Sale of the White Sox got a tooth pulled less than 24 hours after throwing a one-hit shutout Sunday night.

• The Chicago Cubs signed 23-year-old first baseman Anthony Rizzo to a 7-year, $41 million contract extension.

Baseball is in full swing! Interact with @AnswerDave, @MikeOz, @Townie813 and @bigleaguestew on Twitter, along with the BLS Facebook page!

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