One night after tallying just four hits against a quartet of Blue Jay pitchers, the Braves' offense exploded for season highs in hits (16) and runs (11) against R.A. Dickey and two Toronto relievers en route to a 11-3 rout of the Jays in the series finale of the short two game set in Atlanta.
The offense provided more than enough support for starter Mike Minor, who continued his stellar season with seven fantastic innings of work. It was the 10th time in 11 starts this season that Minor had gone six or more innings, and was the fifth time this season that he's reached the seven inning mark.
After burning the bullpen for seven innings last night in relief for the injured Kris Medlen, Atlanta came into tonight's game needing a strong out from Minor. They got that and more from the left-hander, who scattered six hits while allowing three runs (only two earned) while walking none and striking out five.
Atlanta's offense got Minor a lead in the bottom of the first inning, as Jordan Schafer dropped a double into left field then came around to score on an Andrelton Simmons single. The Braves added another run in the second on an rbi single by Ramiro Pena, who ended up with three hits and four runs batted in on the night in place of Dan Uggla. Freddie Freeman added to the lead in the third inning, launching his fourth home run of the season into the right field seats.
Things stayed that way until the sixth inning, when things got a little dicey in the field for the home team. Dickey of all people led off with an infield single, then advanced to second on a fielding error by Andrelton Simmons that ruined a likely double play and allowed Jose Bautista to reach first base. Edwin Encarnacion brought home Dickey on a single to center, and Bautista avoided the tag by Chris Johnson at third to put runners on second and third.
Mark DeRosa's double scored both runners and tied up the ballgame at three. From then on, however, it was all about the Braves' offense. RBI singles by Pena and Jordan Schafer plated three runs in the sixth inning to make it 6-3, then the Braves added three more in the seventh on a passed by and a two-run single from Pena.
Recent call-up Alex Wood got the ball in the ninth inning and pitched a scoreless ninth in his Major League debut as his mother Carol struggled to hold back tears in the stands. A very cool moment to end a great game for the Braves.
Next up, Atlanta welcomes the Washington Nationals to town for a three-game set starting tomorrow night at 7:30 PM EDT.