Left-hander Mike Minor struggled yet again Wednesday, becoming the first pitcher since Kenny Rogers in 2008 to give up six or more earned runs in four consecutive starts (Courtesy of @Junkstats). The Braves were unable to overcome Minor's rough start, and fell to Miami 8-4.
Atlanta opened the scoring in the first, as Tyler Pastornicky singled up the middle on the first pitch of the game. Martin Prado followed with a backside double, moving Pastornicky to third. Freddie Freeman followed with a grounder to first that scored Pastornicky to make it 1-0.
Minor held Miami scoreless through three, but things turned on him in the fourth. A single and a hit by pitch put runners on first and second for Austin Kearns, who scored both runner with a double to center. Three batters later, Emilio Bonifacio brought in Kearns with a single to left.
With the score 3-1 in the bottom of the fourth, Atlanta had runners on second and third for Jason Heyward. Heyward crushed an inside pitch from Mark Buehrle into right field that looked like a sure double. However, Giancarlo Stanton made an incredible diving catch to rob Heyward of a hit and save the Marlins lead.
In the fifth, Miami utilized a little league play of sorts that worked. With Omar Infante on first and Jose Reyes on third, the Marlins called Infante to steal second. McCann decided to thrown down to second, allowing Reyes to break from third and score. The ball should have never been thrown, but since it was, Pastornicky should have cut in front of the bag to shorten the distance. That increased the lead to 4-1.
Two batters later, Gaby Sanchez singled to center, scoring Infante and chasing Minor. Cristhian Martinez entered, and allowed an inherited runner from Minor to score, but that's it. The Braves finished the frame down 6-1.
Atlanta finally got to Buehrle in the sixth. A double by Prado and a walk to Freeman put runners on first and second for Uggla, who singled to center. That scored Prado, cutting the deficit to 6-2. After a wild pitch allowed the runners to advance a base, back-to-back groundouts scored Freeman and Uggla. 6-4 would be as close as the Braves would get.
With a runner on first, Stanton put an exclamation point on his night by crushing a Martinez fastball into the center field stands for a two-run home run. That made the score 8-4. Heath Bell recorded a 1-2-3 ninth for the save.
Mark Buehrle: 6 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 4 K.
Mike Minor: 4.2 IP, 6 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 3 BB, 3 K.