Originally written July 31, 2013 on Atlanta Bullpen:
Braves-relief-pitcher
The Atlanta Braves had a 6+ run inning for the 3rd straight night against the Rockies on Wednesday.  The hot offense led the Braves to a 9-0 win, and gives them a chance to sweep the 4-game series tomorrow night.  The win for the Braves was their 6th straight. Enough cannot be said about Braves starter, Mike Minor.  Over the course of 2013, Minor has become the unofficial ace of the Braves staff.  He lived up to that title on Wednesday night against the Rockies.  Minor only gave up 2 hits in his 7 innings pitched.  The Rockies could not score on those 2 hits as Minor improved to 11-5 for the season. Luis Ayala came into the game in relief of Minor.  Ayala pitched 2 scoreless innings to finish off the Rockies. Once again on Wednesday, there was no shortage of offense for the Braves.  Freddie Freeman got the Braves going in the game’s very first inning.  His single to center scored Jason Heyward and put the Braves up, 1-0. Freeman would come through again in the 3rd inning.  This single from Freeman would go to right center and Heyward scored once again.  With the RBI single, Freeman has knocked in 6 runs in the last 2 games.  The single from Freeman would only be the start of what the Braves would do in the 3rd. Evan Gattis gave the Braves another run when he singled to left.  Justin Upton scored on the single from Gattis. The next batter, Brian McCann, would then hit his 2nd home run in as many nights.  This homer off the bat of McCann scored 3 Atlanta runs as Freeman and Gattis were on the bases.  The McCann 3-run homer gave the Braves a 6-0 lead. Mike Minor (single) and Jason Heyward (ground out) would join in with RBI’s of their own. A huge 7-run 3rd inning for the Braves gave them a commanding 7-0 lead. The Braves got their 9th and final run in the 4th inning.  Chris Johnson reached on an infield single, which saw Freddie Freeman score. Huge run support was all Mike Minor would need, as the Braves shut out the Rockies, 9-0. It was a good night at the plate, as 5 Braves recorded multi-hit nights.  It now seems normal to see at least see 2 hits beside Chris Johnson in the stats.  He continues to add to his league best, .342 average. Game MVP: Mike Minor: 7 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, and 6 K’s Freeman had a good night at the plate, but Mike Minor has put people on notice recently.  With the injuries, Minor has really stepped up to feel the void left by the injuries to Hudson and Maholm.  He did a great job shutting down a pretty good Rockies lineup.  We can only hope that Minor’s dominance continues as we inch closer to the playoffs. It seems like the Braves are playing their best baseball of the season.  The pitching and the offense are both getting hot at the same time. Wednesday’s win was the 6th straight for the Braves and they hope to continue the trend on Thursday. The Braves 6-game win streak has helped them open up an 11 game lead in the NL East.  They do need to keep the foot on the gas however, because you never know when the Phillies and Nationals will/if ever hit their stride. The post Minor McCann and Freeman Big as Braves Paste Rockies appeared first on Atlanta Bullpen.
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