With a strong start by Doug Fister, the Detroit Tigers mercifully finished off the three-game sweep of the Atlanta Braves in an 8-5 final at Comerica Park on Sunday. The Braves return to Atlanta with a 3-7 record on their 10-game road trip.
"It was a tough road trip," Dan Uggla told braves.com. "You could tell it wore on us — the weather, the travel, the doubleheader, the days off. Everything I think caught up to us here. I'm not taking anything away from [the Tigers]. They really swung the bats great and got great pitching all three days."
The Braves won their opening game of the trip against the Pittsburgh Pirates and their other two wins came when they swept their doubleheader with the Colorado Rockies on Tuesday.
As for those final nine games? The Braves hit .217 with 96 strikeouts. Atlanta also carried a 1.92 ERA into the trip and left with a 3.29, largely because the Tigers put up at least five earned runs on Braves starters in every game.
Mike Minor started out well Sunday night when he sat down the first seven hitters he faced, but things turned ugly in the third inning. After walking Brayan Pena, former Braves Omar Infante singled to set up a three-run homer by Austin Jackson.
Miguel Cabrera would double to lead off the bottom of the sixth, eventually scoring on Victor Martinez's go-ahead sacrifice fly. Minor then gave up a two-run solo homer to Infante before walking Jackson to end his night.
But Jackson would also score when Cory Gearrin gave up a two-run bomb to Cabrera to end the four-run seventh.
Sunday marked the first time Minor gave up two homers in a start since last June 24. He gave up six runs over 6 2/3 innings.
"That's a pretty good lineup," Fredi Gonzalez said. "We gave them some outs. We gave them some opportunities to score, and they took advantage."
Fister struck out five of the first six Braves he faced, giving up just a single to Tyler Pastornicky in the first inning through his first three innings, but the Braves actually manufactured a three-run frame in the fourth with three hits.
Justin Upton got things started with a single before Freddie Freeman got hit in the shoulder with a pitch, setting up a Chris Johnson's check-swing RBI-double to right field. Evan Gattis also found a hole to right field with an RBI-single, and Uggla drove in a run on what should have been a double play, had Infante's throw from second been on the mark.
Though the Braves are finally done with their stretch of playing 16 of 18 games on the road, they now go home to face Stephen Strasburg, Gio Gonzalez and Jordan Zimmerman pitching for the Washington Nationals, but they can take solace in the fact that they'll be home for a solid week before hitting the road again.
Atlanta, Atlanta Braves, Detroit Tigers, Doug Fister, Miguel Cabrera, Mike Minor, MLB, Omar Infante