The Atlanta Braves' Sunday afternoon contest with the Baltimore Orioles may have ended in an unexciting 2-2 tie, but Mike Minor gave the Braves plenty of reason to be optimistic. Minor pushed his spring scoreless innings streak to 14 by pitching five innings and giving up only two hits and one walk to go along with three strikeouts.
Minor came into spring training as the favorite to win the fifth spot in the rotation. He has not only seemingly won the job, but he has been the Braves' best starter. In his 14 scoreless innings, Minor has allowed seven hits and walked five while striking out ten batters.
“He’s been great, he really has,” Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. “We’ve seen him give us good outing after good outing. You see the command, and you see his secondary pitches getting better and better and more consistent. I think he could throw almost any pitch at any time now. Hopefully that will continue when we break and go north."
Minor has shown flashes of brilliance throughout his brief major league career, but his inconsistency has kept him jumping back and forth between Triple-A Gwinnett and Atlanta. He should be with the big-league club for good now.
“Today they didn’t have a lot of their big hitters in their lineup, but I was still throwing and executing pitches,” Minor said. “I feel like if you execute your pitches you’re going to get anybody out.”
The Braves didn't get a lot going on offense during Sunday's game. Chipper Jones hit a double and later scored on Jordan Parraz's RBI single. Martin Prado and Freddie Freeman each added singles, while Michael Bourn was 0-for-3 with three strikeouts.
Eric O'Flaherty and Craig Kimbrel each pitched scoreless innings, while Jonny Venters gave up two runs (one earned) in his inning of work.
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