Reed Johnson's day at the plate basically summed up how things went for Atlanta's offense this afternoon in Chicago.
With one out and the bases loaded in the second inning against White Sox starter Jose Quintana, Johnson smoked a line drive to shortstop Alexei Ramirez that he caught and turned into a double play. Then, down 3-1 in the eighth inning, Johnson was robbed of a potential two-run homer that would've tied the game by Casper Wells.
All in all, Atlanta racked up nine hits but left 11 runners on base partially due to some tough breaks on balls in play, en route to a 3-1 loss to Chicago in the series finale of this three-game set. Mike Minor turned in Atlanta's first complete game on the mound this season, but it wasn't enough.
The White Sox plated an early run with a RBI single from Adam Dunn that beat the shift, and added another in the third on a bloop single from Alex Rios that brought home Alejandro De Aza. Evan Gattis finally got the Braves on the scoreboard in the fifth inning with a scorching single that deflected off of third baseman Brent Morel. Gattis' single allowed Chris Johnson to trot home make it a 2-1 game in favor of Chicago.
Chicago got that run right back in the bottom of the sixth, as Rios led off with a single, then promptly stole second. With the shift on for Dunn, Andrelton Simmons couldn't corral a grounder, allowing Rios to advance to third. Dayan Viciedo followed with a sacrifice fly to bring home Rios.
Minor's final line was 8 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 8 K. He garnered 16 whiffs on 101 pitches, including nine on his fastball. It will get overlooked because Atlanta lost the game, but Minor was fantastic on the mound this afternoon.
Gerald Laird left the game in the fourth inning after being hit on the hand with a pitch. It was later diagnosed as a left hand contusion. X-rays were negative, according to the Braves' twitter account. Laird is listed as day-to-day.
The Braves are off to New York for a four-game series against the Mets that will start tomorrow night at 7:10 PM ET.
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