Brothers B.J. and Justin Upton came up with many heroic baseball scenarios growing up in Chesapeake, Va. None of them topped what they accomplished over the weekend in Atlanta.
The Braves teammates carried the team to victory in almost unimaginable fashion: B.J. Upton blasted a home run in the bottom of the ninth inning to tie the game against the Chicago Cubs, three minutes later Justin Upton crushes a homer to win it, 6-5.
“We’d never dreamed of being on the same team, much less coming out here and doing that,” B.J. Upton said. “It’s exciting.”
Justin Upton went 3-for-5 with two RBIs. He also homered in the first and now has five homers in Atlanta’s first five games.
Their mother, Yvonne, and father, Manny Upton, graduates of Norfolk State University, were in attendance, making the moment even more special.
“Ah, man, I think right now, in my mind, it’s No. 1,” Justin Upton said. “It was exhilarating out there. We had a great time with it.”
B.J. Upton’s home run was needed as much for him as the team. He opened the season 0 for 16 with nine strikeouts. He registered his first hit of the year in the seventh, a two-out infield single.
Feeling less pressure as he faced Carlos Marmol on a 3-1 count, he crushed the fifth fastball he saw into the left-field seats.
“I know it’s there, but to get that first one out of the way, it’s kind of the monkey off the back,” B.J. Upton said. “Hopefully things will get rolling here.”
The Braves rallied from a 5-1 deficit with three runs in the eighth off Kyuji Fujikawa and two in the ninth off Marmol.
Justin Upton’s solo shot in the first inning made it 1-all. He followed with leadoff double in the eighth and scored the first of three Atlanta runs that cut the lead to 5-4.