Jonny Venters had given the Atlanta Braves a faint glimmer of hope that he had rebounded from his disastrous May, he surrendered a game-tying grand slam to Alex Rodriguez. Another homer off Cory Gearrin would give the New York Yankees the lead in the 6-4 loss at Turner Field Tuesday night.
The poor bullpen effort wasted a more than solid outing by Mike Minor, who threw 7 1/3 innings while only being charged with one run. He was pulled after giving up a single to Derek Jeter in the eighth. Venters then allowed a single to Curtis Granderson and a walk to Mark Teixeira to load the bags for Rordiguez's grand slam.
The grand slam was A-Rod's 23rd of his career, tying him with Lou Gehrig for the all-time record.
Venters was mercifully pulled after Robinson Cano hit a single, meaning Venters retired exactly none of the four batters he faced, but Cano's single simply put him on base for Nick Swisher to hit a two-run bomb off Cory Gearrin, who is known for his troubles with getting lefties out.
After not allowing a run through all of April, Venters posted a 6.55 ERA in 14 May outings. He had given the Braves some faint glimmer of hope after allowing one hit through four June appearances, but the four homers he has given up this year is more than the last two seasons combined for the lefty.
Beforehand, Minor had held the Yankees to a run on five hits over 7 1/3 innings. Though he had compiled an ERA of 8.84 during his last seven starts, Minor only allowed two baserunners to reach second base through the first seven innings.
The loss is particularly stinging considering that the Braves got to Yankees starter C.C. Sabathia early to snap their 15-inning scoreless streak. Brian McCann showed some life with his bat when his first-inning double put runners at second and third. After Sabathia walked Dan Uggla, Matt Diaz, who shells left-handed pitching, unloaded the bases with a three-run opposite field double.
That was their only hit with runners in scoring position, however, as the Braves went 1-for-10 in that situation. They would only score one run with the bases loaded in the seventh inning by way of a Jason Heyward groundout.
The loss was the first time in 28 games this season that the Braves have lost with a lead after seven innings.
Atlanta will look to Tim Hudson (4-2) to avoid the sweep against Hiroki Kuroda (5-6) in a 7:10 start.
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