Bud Norris was outstanding in the Atlanta Braves' series-opening, 5-1, win over the Chicago Cubs on Friday night at Turner Field.
In his second start since returning to the rotation, Norris hurled seven dazzling innings, allowing just one run on four hits, with no walks and six strikeouts. The Braves improved to 18-42 on the season, while the Cubs fell to 41-18.
Adonis Garcia and Tyler Flowers made the first marks on the scoreboard in the game with consecutive home runs for the Braves in the second inning. The feat marks the first time the Braves have hit back-to-back home runs this season, and only the fifth time they have hit multiple homers in a single game.
Atlanta hit Cubs starter Jason Hammel hard even after the homer, leaving a pair of runners on in the second and third innings. Garcia hit a liner of Hammel's thigh his second time to the dish, but Hammel waved off trainers and remained in the game.
Garcia was unstoppable, going 3-for-3 with a walk at the plate and making an outstanding diving stop and throw from the ground to record an out. Jace Peterson was called up from Triple-A earlier Friday and was 2-for-3 with two runs scored.
The Braves took a 3-1 lead with a sacrifice fly from Ender Inciarte in the fourth inning, but the inning ended as Mallex Smith touched the bag at second, but went over the base and failed to re-touch on his way back to first base. He was called out on an appeal. Inciarte finished the night with a pair of hits and a couple RBIs.
They would tack on two more in the eighth to make the score 5-1. Jim Johnson and Arodys Vizcaino each hurled a scoreless inning of relief to finish off the game.
Nick Markakis ran into some tough luck at the plate, as he was out twice on hard-hit liners, with great catches from Jason Heyward and Albert Almora Jr. at the outfield corners.
Anthony Rizzo took the night off with a stiff back. In surely a completely unrelated note, Rizzo is 0-for-10 lifetime against Norris.
Now we enter the fun portion of the game. A security guard took exception to this fan falling onto the field.
@Braves security guard needs to chill out. Clearly was an accident. pic.twitter.com/0C68n03Ut6— Tyler Wise (@TWise715) June 11, 2016
Chipper Jones was in attendance, and the Braves had a little fun on Twitter.
When someone tries to tell you that a hot dog is a sandwich: pic.twitter.com/fQcSU0yj61— Atlanta Braves (@Braves) June 11, 2016
In case you are still in shock that the Braves hit back-to-back homers, here is evidence:
Back...https://t.co/ODIZ8npXe8— Atlanta Braves (@Braves) June 11, 2016
...to back: https://t.co/2dOqlTDNDE
The Braves and Cubs continue the series on Saturday at 4:10 p.m. ET.