Mike Minor has been considered a candidate to be sent down to the minors, but the Atlanta Braves may want to rethink that after he pitched around and out of trouble to win his first game since April 19, while the offense blasted four home runs to sweep the Miami Marlins.
Minor gave up one run over five innings, and Jason Heyward hit two home runs in the 8-2 win at Marlins Park, send the Braves to their first sweep since May 4-6 in Colorado.
Minor gave up a single and two walks to load the bases in the first inning and threw 26 pitches in the frame, but he struck out Logan Morrison to get out of the jam. He would then settle in nicely, holding the Marlins scoreless through four innings.
The only run Minor gave up came via a solo homer by Jose Reyes, his first of the season, that bounced off the top of the left field wall in the fifth inning.
"He didn’t buckle," Fredi Gonzalez said. "So there’s progress there. He gave us five innings. That’s all he had right now, but there were a couple of innings there where they could have put up a big number against him, and he didn’t let them."
Miami starting pitcher Mark Buehrle was equally impressive early, holding the Braves to one hit over the first five innings, but the Braves finally struck with two outs in the sixth. Michael Bourn hit a single, which Martin Prado followed with a two-run homer to give Atlanta the lead.
Buehrle gave up only those two runs and three hits over six innings, but the Brave would break the game open in seventh, eighth and ninth innings. Heyward obliterated a two-out homer in the seventh, Prado drove in a run on a single in the eighth, Heyward added another monster home run in the ninth and Bourn hit a three-run shot.
With Jonny Venters on the mound in the seventh, the Braves defense prevented the Marlins from potentially putting together a big inning. Venters issued a lead-off walk to Reyes, but Heyward made a diving catch to rob Omar Infante of at least a double. Hanley Ramirez was then robbed when he smashed a hard grounder in the hole to Andrelton Simmons, who dove to his right to start one of the most impressive double plays in baseball all year.
Eric O'Flaherty gave up a homer to Giancarlo Stanton in the eighth that was originally called a double before the replay process reversed the decision. He also gave up a double to Justin Ruggiano, but O'Flaherty finally shut the door in the next three batters.
The Braves return to Atlanta for a 10-day, nine-game homestand, starting with a three-game set with the Toronto Blue Jays. Brandon Beachy (5-4) will look to keep the Braves rolling against Kyle Drabek (4-6).
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