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Video: Ender Inciarte christens SunTrust Park with its first home run

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It was a night of firsts for the Braves when they opened SunTrust Park to the public for the first time during the regular season. Following the fanfare of the opening ceremonies, which featured MLB commissioner Rob Manfred, Hall of Famers Hank Aaron, Chipper Jones and Bobby Cox and singer-songwriter Phillip Phillips, among others, center fielder Ender Inciarte snagged a first-pitch fly ball and recorded the first out in SunTrust history.

In the bottom of the first inning, Inciarte kicked things off again with the Braves’ first hit in the new park, a leadoff single on a 1-2 count from San Diego right-hander Jhoulys Chacin. Two batters later, Nick Markakis plated the first run, bringing Inciarte and Freddie Freeman home to score on a two-run double. The Braves’ two-run lead evaporated in the second inning, however, when Atlanta starter Julio Teheran had the unfortunate distinction of allowing the first runs to an opposing team, serving up back-to-back RBI singles to Chacin and Manuel Margot.

By the sixth, with the Braves hanging onto a 3-2 lead after a Julio Teheran single in the fourth, Inciarte had another first to record: the first SunTrust home run. He plucked a 3-1 pitch and drove it over the right field wall, driving in Emilio Bonifacio and padding Atlanta’s lead for their eventual 5-2 win.

You can see Inciarte’s full highlight reel below:

[mlbvideo id=”1285050283″ width=”600″ height=”336″ /]

Oakland Athletics reverse course, will continue to pay minor leaguers

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Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that Oakland Athletics owner John Fisher has reversed course and will continue to pay minor leaguers. Fisher tells Slusser, “I concluded I made a mistake.” He said he is also setting up an assistance fund for furloughed employees.

The A’s decided in late May to stop paying paying minor leaguers as of June 1, which was the earliest date on which any club could do so after an MLB-wide agreement to pay minor leaguers through May 31 expired. In the event, the A’s were the only team to stop paying the $400/week stipends to players before the end of June. Some teams, notable the Royals and Twins, promised to keep the payments up through August 31, which is when the minor league season would’ve ended. The Washington Nationals decided to lop off $100 of the stipends last week but, after a day’s worth of blowback from the media and fans, reversed course themselves.