published Wednesday, April 17th, 2013

Atlanta Braves power streak to 10

The Atlanta Braves’ Juan Francisco gets attention in the dugout after hitting a home run against the Kansas City Royals during the second inning Tuesday.
The Atlanta Braves’ Juan Francisco gets attention in the dugout after hitting a home run against the Kansas City Royals during the second inning Tuesday.
Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

ATLANTA — Jason Heyward, Justin Upton and Dan Uggla homered in the eighth inning, and Juan Francisco hit two solo shots earlier in the game to help the Atlanta Braves win 6-3 over the Kansas City Royals on Tuesday night.

Atlanta's 10-game winning streak is its longest since the club won 15 straight from April 15 to May 2, 2000. The Braves are 12-1 and off to their best start since they began the 1994 season 13-1.

Eric O'Flaherty (3-0) allowed one hit and struck out two in a scoreless eighth for the win in relief.

Heyward's second homer, Upton's eighth and Uggla's third of the season were solo shots off Kelvin Herrera (1-1), who gave up three hits, four runs and one walk in two-thirds of an inning. The Braves have outhomered opponents 25-7 and outscored foes 68-25 for the best run differential in the majors.

Heyward hit the go-ahead homer in the eighth with an opposite-field shot into the left-field seats, and Upton and Uggla followed to make it 5-2.

After Francisco walked to chase Herrera, Chris Johnson followed with an RBI single off Aaron Crow that scored pinch-runner Jordan Schafer from second.

Braves relief pitcher Luis Avilan recorded the first out of the ninth before seeming to injure his left hamstring. Avilan limped slowly off the field with the help of trainer Jim Lovell and manager Fredi Gonzalez before getting carted off the field.

Closer Craig Kimbrel finished off the Royals by striking out pinch-hitter Billy Butler, giving up an RBI single to Alex Gordon and retiring Alcides Escobar on a groundout. It was a non-save situation.

The Royals, who have lost three of four, led 2-1 in the fourth when Salvador Perez reached on Francisco's throwing error, moved to second on Mike Moustakas' single and scored on Jeff Francoeur's RBI single.

Except for Francisco, who hit his second homer of the season to make it 1-0 in the second and his third to tie it at 2 in the seventh, the Braves were unable to do much against Kansas City starting pitcher Jeremy Guthrie.

Atlanta's first five batters were a combined 0-for-14 with one walk and five strikeouts against Guthrie, who gave up five hits, two runs and one walk with six strikeouts in seven innings. Guthrie was trying to win his eighth straight decision dating back to last August.

Chris Getz tied it at 1 in the third off Braves starter Kris Medlen. Getz, Kansas City's No. 8 hitter, homered for the first time in nearly four years.

Medlen, who was trying to improve to 17-3 in his career as a starter, allowed six hits and two runs -- one earned -- with no walks and five strikeouts in seven innings.

Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman said before the game that his right oblique is healing and that he expects to come off the DL as scheduled on April 22 at Colorado.

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