The Atlanta Braves just couldn't seem to put it together in the finale of their five-game series with the New York Mets at Turner Field. Mike Minor gave up three home runs and the offense wasted gobs of opportunities in the 4-3 loss on Thursday.
All three Mets homers were solo shots, two from David Wright in the first and fourth innings and one from pinch-hitter Andrew Brown in the fifth.
"The home runs were just bad pitches," Minor said on braves.com. "Hanging curveball, a fastball over the middle of the plate and then a first-pitch hanging slider. So I give the credit to those guys. They were bad pitches, and they took them out of the yard."
Minor's night was ended in the seven with Omar Quintanilla and Josh Satin started the inning with back-to-back doubles.
The Braves scored all three of their runs of Mets starter Jon Niese, who left after 3 1/3 innings with shoulder pain. The Braves jumped right on him when Tyler Pastornicky and Jason Heyward started the frame with singles before Justin Upton brought home Pastornicky with an RBI-single.
The Braves took the lead in the third on RBI-singles by Chris Johnson and Gerald Laird, giving Minor a 3-1 cushion before he gave up his second homer to Wright.
Minor's six-plus innings saw him give up four runs on a season-worst nine hits. It was the first time he had given up three homers in a game in nearly a year and he has allowed four runs in each of his last two starts after carrying a 2.32 ERA over his last 28 starts.
All told, it was a tale of the Braves stranded 11 runners while out-hitting the Mets 13-9. They went 3-for-13 with runners in scoring position.
"We got 13 hits and only three runs, that's about it," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "We had some people on base, and we just couldn't get the knock when we needed to."
B.J. Upton also took an 0-for-5 line on his bobblehead night, possibly a result of simply trying too hard. He finally did square up a ball in the ninth inning but lined out to Quintanilla to end the game.
"It's just the way it happens sometimes," Upton said. "All you can do is put a good swing on the ball, and whatever happens after that is out of your control."
Losers of three of their last four games, the Braves head on the road for a three-game series with the Milwaukee Brewers starting Friday.
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