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May 26, 2013

Braves take two from Mets

Ben Walker

AP Baseball Writer

NEW YORK (AP) — Start-by-start over the years, the Atlanta Braves have seen Mike Minor emerging as a young, talented pitcher.

    Perhaps as a hitter, too.

    Minor homered for his first two RBIs in the majors and struck out 10 as the Atlanta Braves posted their second win in a matter of hours, beating the New York Mets 6-0 Saturday for their eighth straight victory.

    "He's been fun to watch," Atlanta manager Fredi Gonzalez said, later adding, "he's a good athlete."

    Earlier, Dan Uggla hit a go-ahead single in the 10th inning and the Braves won 7-5 in the resumption of a game suspended because of rain Friday night after eight innings with the score tied.

    Minor (6-2) then pitched 7 1-3 innings of three-hit ball, sending the Mets to their fifth loss in a row overall and eighth straight at Citi Field.

    Minor was hardly a force at the plate coming in — he was a paltry 8 for 108 (.074) in four seasons, striking out in exactly half of those at-bats. He perked up for his first two-hit game in the majors.

    "Streaky," he kidded.

    In the third inning, Minor singled to become the Braves' first baserunner of the game, and a bat boy brought him a warmup jacket on a blustery, cool evening. The next time up in the fifth, with a light rain, the 25-year-old lefty never had time to get chilly.

    Despite gusts that kept knocking down fly balls, Minor hit a two-run drive inside the left field foul pole off Dillon Gee (2-6) that broke a scoreless tie.

    "Got to have power, like me," Minor said with a grin.

    Minor homered for the first time since his senior year of high school, and it touched off a five-run burst. Minor connected after a two-out single by Chris Johnson, and they smiled the whole way from home plate back to the bench.

    Minor's teammates celebrated the shot, too, and big first baseman Freddie Freeman hugged the pitcher and playfully jumped up and down with him in the dugout.

    Catcher Brian McCann, however, reminded Minor that there was still work to do on the mound.

    "Didn't try to live in that moment of the home run," Minor said.

    The Braves got six straight hits in their surge, including doubles by Justin Upton and Andrelton Simmons and singles by Jason Heyward and Freeman.

    "All of a sudden, seemed I just got in the stretch and I just lost it," Gee said.

    "I got to keep looking forward, keep working hard. If I keep looking back on the past there's nothing good there right now," he said.

    There was a brief delay when Minor batted in the seventh because the wind whipped up the dirt and blew more than 150 hot dog wrappers and other pieces of debris all over the field. Stadium workers cleared the mess when the half-inning ended, shortly after Freeman's second RBI single.

    There was a fireworks show after the game. The seats were nearly empty, with few bundled-up fans sticking around.

    The Braves and Mets took 42 minutes to complete the resumption, and there was a 36-minute break between the games.

    The suspended game picked up right where it left off, at the start of the ninth inning. There was no national anthem and fans were scattered in the stands.

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