Minor Serves Up More Homers, Braves Lose Finale To Red Sox 9-4

BOSTON, MA - JUNE 24: Mike Minor #36 of the Atlanta Braves pitches against the Boston Red Sox during the first inning of the interleague game at Fenway Park on June 23, 2012 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Winslow Townson/Getty Images)

Mike Minor had another rough start as he surrendered three home runs, two of them to Cody Ross, and the Braves drop the finale of a three-game series at Fenway Park 9-4.

Minor actually handled the Red Sox lineup through the first three innings, but his offense failed to cash in a pair of doubles, including one of the leadoff variety by Eric Hinske in the third off starter Aaron Cook. When Minor walked the first two hitters in the fourth inning, however, trouble immediately followed when Cody Ross took him deep over the Monster for a three-run homer. Adrian Gonzalez followed with a round-tripper of his own. In the span of three pitches, Minor and the Braves trailed 4-0.

Atlanta cut into the lead in the fifth starting with Jason Heyward continuing his tear with an infield single to lead off the inning; Andrelton Simmons contributed a single to put two on with no outs. Eric Hinske stepped to the plate and crushed a fastball as far as he could to center and not hit a home run, settling for a two-run triple. Hinske scored when Juan Francisco hit a comebacker to Cook, but Cook threw wide of third trying to pick off Hinske, allowing a third run to score. That cut Boston's lead to one, but Atlanta failed to score any more in the inning.

That's as close as the Braves would get in the game. Will Middlebrooks padded the lead with a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the fifth, aided by a throwing error by Andrelton Simmons to start the inning. Ross then hit his second home run of the game with a runner on, pushing the lead back to four.

Jason Heyward hit his 11th home run of the season in the sixth off reliever Matt Albers, but it came right after Freddie Freeman had hit into a double play. Daniel Nava drove in a run with a double off Kris Medlen in the sixth and Kevin Youkilis tripled in a run in the seventh against Chad Durbin because of miscommunication between Heyward and Michael Bourn.

With the loss, the Braves had to settle for a 3-3 road trip. Of Atlanta's 11 hits, only Hinske's triple was with a runner in scoring position.

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