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Mike Minor Falters Again, Atlanta Braves Fall 8-4 to Florida Marlins

May 16th, 2012 at 11:32 PM
By Jonathan McCullough

Mike Minor struggled in his fourth straight start, and the Atlanta Braves lost 8-4 to the Florida Marlins in the series opener at Turner Field. 

Minor gave up six earned runs on six hits and three walks in 4 2/3 innings of work. This marked the fourth consecutive start in which Minor gave up six or more earned runs.

“I gave up a couple hits, got out of rhythm, was making non-competitive pitches and they hit them,” Minor said.

Minor began the season with multiple strong starts, and it appeared he had taken the next step in his development as a starting pitcher. These last few outings, however, have given cause for concern.

“It’s pretty tough going out there, not only for me and myself, my confidence, but for the team," Minor said. "I don’t necessarily want to go out there every fifth day and people look at me as ‘Are we going to have another game like we did last week?’ or ‘Are we going to have to score a lot of runs this week’ because Minor’s on the mound?’ So it’s more of a team thing too. I don’t want the team to look at me as that kind of guy. I feel like I let the team down, I let myself down and the organization down, and the fans. The fans don’t come to the ballpark to see me walk batters and go 3-2 on pitchers when they’re up to the plate. All that combined is stressful, but it’s part of the game.”

The Braves jumped out to a quick lead in the bottom of the first inning on an RBI groundout by Freddie Freeman. With the Braves down 6-1 after five innings, they cut the deficit to 6-4 in the bottom of the sixth inning. Unfortunately for the Braves, Giancarlo Stanton hit a two-run home run off of Cristhian Martinez that sapped all of the momentum the Braves had.

Offensively, Martin Prado continued his hot hitting with three base hits, two of which were doubles. Brian McCann and Dan Uggla also had two hits apiece. Tyler Pastornicky had a single and a run out of the leadoff spot in the absence of Michael Bourn, who was given a day off for the first time this season.

“Offensively, we got 10 hits," manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "We got some runs in situational hitting spots. I think both Freeman and McCann got them over and got them in on second and third and less than two outs."

The Braves dropped to 3-7 against National League East foes this season, and they fell to second place in the standings behind the Washington Nationals.

The Braves will look to split the series on Thursday when they send Brandon Beachy (4-1, 1.60 ERA) to the hill against Ricky Nolasco (4-1, 3.65 ERA) at 7:10 EDT.

Tags: Atlanta, Atlanta Braves, Brian McCann, Dan Uggla, Martin Prado, Mike Minor, MLB

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