Published: Sun, April 16, 2017
World | By Paul Elliott

Atlanta Braves win Opener at new SunTrust Park

Atlanta Braves' Ender Inciarte hits the first home run for 2-RBIs in SunTrust Park for a lead over the San Diego Padres during the sixth inning in the Braves' home opener on Friday, April 14, 2017, . Ender Inciarte and Nick Markakis each pitched in a pair of RBI, with Inciarte going 2 for 4 with a home run and Markakis going 1 for 3 with a double. Look at the LED lights, the incredible green grass, this incredibly orange clay.

The first fan reviews of the parking situation have been good.

Colegrove and his family figure to go to a lot of games at both SunTrust Park and Coolray Field this season, as he is a partial season ticket holder for both the Atlanta and Gwinnett Braves.

Fans from all over the US came to Cobb County to check out the new facility.

"Sometimes you take for granted what this organization has", Freeman said.

So did stars of 14 straight division titles and the 1995 World Series: John Smoltz, Tom Glavine, Chipper Jones and skipper Bobby Cox.

We will have live coverage of traffic leading up to the game on Channel 2 Action News at 4, 5 and 6 p.m. on Friday. A prominent fan, former President Jimmy Carter, also was in attendance. It was his third home run of the season.

After the game, Inciarte said while he was talking with some of his teammates about who they thought would get the first homer, he told them, "Maybe it's gonna be me!" An area geared toward children has a zip line and a climbing wall. But tonight is the real deal with 41,000+ fans expected to pack the stadium. In the hands of many were their phones, which could help locate the nearest concession stand or bathroom. Plenty of Braves fans turned opening day into an all-day event.

"It's fantastic what they did with this ballpark", Inciarte said.

That was only the beginning of the firsts that Inciarte, the Braves' Gold Glove-winning outfielder, would deliver in a 5-2 win Friday.

They announced they were moving to the suburbs in 2013. The Braves played in the old stadium, built for the 1996 Olympics, for only 20 years.

Of course, there were many other firsts as well.

After touring SunTrust Park on Friday, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said the new venue can serve as a model for baseball.

"There weren't too many cheap homers at Turner Field", Jones said. They were pushed back a little bit more. "If the fans give us that every day, we'll do a lot of good things in this ballpark".

Chacin, who had gone from pitching an opening-day disaster to a shutdown effort at Petco Park, received an untidy introduction to a new stadium.

The bridge over I-285 linking the park and battery to the Cobb Galleria opened Friday afternoon to pedestrians.

Because of the Interstate 85 collapse, Braves officials are drilling in important advice for fans. Repairs are targeted to be completed in June.

The Braves have now broken in three different parks in Atlanta, and - while the opportunities to do so are obviously limited - only Inciarte owns the breakthrough base knock, run and home run.

But logistics aside, will the team win at its new home? The Braves starter sent a slow grounder up the middle. Chacin (1-2) took the loss, as Teheran's RBI single in the fourth put the Braves up 3-2.

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