The Atlanta Braves will apparently have to take baby steps to come back to their winning ways from two weeks ago. Mike Minor seemed to have things on cruise control against a hot New York Yankees lineup, but he faltered later on, taking the loss even though the Braves scored off C.C. Sabathia early in the 6-2 loss.
Minor held the Yankees hitless through four and faced the minimum number of batters, but he gave up three runs in the bottom of the fifth that would bury the Braves and their opportunity-wasting ways.
Though he threw just 50 pitches through the first four innings, Minor needed 38 to get through the fifth. Alex Rodriguez, who had been the Yankees' only baserunner with a walk in the second, led off with a single, followed by a walk to Robinson Cano. Russell Martin would drive in A-Rod with a ground-rule double down the left field line. Derek Jeter would drive in two more runs with a bases load single up the middle.
Mark Teixeira led off the bottom of the sixth with a homer, the 15th Minor has allowed this season. He gave up four runs on four hits in 5 2/3 innings.
The Braves took their aforementioned offensive baby step when they finally snapped their 20-inning scoreless streak in the first inning. Michael Bourn started the game with a triple to left-center, and Martin Prado grounded out to drive him in. Michael Bourn also drove in the Braves' other run when Sabathia gave up three hits to the first four batters in the fifth.
The only other time Sabathia was in any amount of trouble was in the fourth when Brian McCann walked and Dan Uggla singled to start the frame. Matt Diaz, however, helped out the New York cause by grounding into his signature rally-killing double play.
Otherwise, Sabathia struck out 10 batters for the 34th complete game of his career and Yankees' 10th consecutive win.
The loss was the Braves' seventh in eight games, which came after winning eight of nine, which had come after an eight-game losing streak. The Braves have hit .122 (5-for-41) with runners in scoring position in the last seven games.
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