Like most teams in Major League Baseball, home is where the Atlanta Braves have done most of their damage in 2013. Entering this monstrosity of a five-game series, Atlanta had gone 23-8 in the friendly confines of Turner Field while managing to at least break even if not win every home series this year.
That changed Thursday night with a 4-3 loss to the Mets Thursday night in which Atlanta had 13 hits but went 3-13 with runners in scoring position. The Braves now have a 7-1-4 series record at home this year.
It was also a rough night for Braves starter Mike Minor, who has unquestionably been Atlanta's best pitcher this year. Minor turned back the clock a year, giving up three home runs in a game and allowing four earned runs in back to back starts for the first time since late June of 2012.
Two of those homers tonight came off the bat of David Wright, who launched a first inning solo shot to get the scoring going then followed it up with one down the line to cut Atlanta's lead to 3-2 in the top of the fourth inning.
Down 1-0 in the bottom of the first, Mets starter Jon Niese was greeted rudely by Atlanta's bats as Tyler Pastornicky, Jason Heyward, and Freddie Freeman singled consecutively to load the bases for Justin Upton. Down in the count 0-2, Upton broke his bat on a single to right that plated Pastornicky and tied the game at one.
Atlanta used back-to-back singles from Chris Johnson and Gerald Laird to plate two runs in the bottom of the third, making it a 3-1 game. The single was one of three hits from Laird, who had an impressive night at the plate.
After Wright's second homer in the fourth, pinch hitter Andrew Brown deposited a Minor slider into the stands in left center to tie things at three apiece in the top of the fifth. Back-to-back doubles from Omar Quintanilla and Josh Satin scored the deciding run and chased Minor from the game in the top of the seventh.
Minor finished with a line of 6 IP, 9 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 2BB, and 6 K. Of note, Chris Johnson had another rough day at third base with three errors. Luckily, none of them led to runs. Also, Tyler Pastornicky made the best of his starting opportunity by recording three hits. While the team figures out if Dan Uggla needs LASIK surgery, Pastornicky will likely get more time at second base.
Up next: Atlanta will hit the road for a five-game road trip that begins tomorrow night in Milwaukee with a three-game series.
Win Expectancy Chart