Originally posted on Fox Sports South  |  Last updated 6/27/13
The Braves' road woes continue as the Royals registered a walk-off hit in a 4-3 win at Kauffman Stadum. Here are three observations from the game: 1. The Braves' came back, but Alex Gordon spoiled the fun Per their 2013 custom, the Braves allowed the Royals to build an early lead before their offense got things going. If that doesn't sound familiar, you haven't been paying attention. Kansas City starter Luis Mendoza shut down the Braves in the first six innings, allowing just three hits over that stretch. And yet, Atlanta came alive in the seventh inning, knocking in three runs off the bats of Reed Johnson (RBI single) and Justin Upton (bases-loaded, two-RBI single), evening the game at 3-3 heading into the seventh-inning stretch. However, despite forcing the game into extra innings, the Braves could not capitalize on their late-game opportunities to score the go-ahead run; they put a runner on base with no outs in both the eighth and 10th innings to no avail. It would have been the team's seventh extra-innings win this season. Instead, the Royals improved to 7-1 in such games thanks in large part to Alex Gordon, who belted a solo home run and knocked in the game-winning run on a walk-off single. Kansas City's valuable outfielder couple great defense with a 3-for-5 night to prove the pivotal thorn in the Braves' side. Braves rookie reliever Alex Wood was dealt his first-career loss as a reliever after giving up the opposite field hit (Atlanta was aligned defensively for Gordon to pull the ball). The Braves' are now just 20-23 on the road this season. When you consider the team won its first seven road games during its scintillating start, the gap between the team's recent road struggles and its home success (25-11) becomes even more impressive. 2. Mike Minor might have cost himself an All-Star nod At the end of May, the Braves' young left-hander was 7-2 with a 2.48 ERA -- he had allowed just nine earned runs in 40.3 innings pitched that month. His numbers were comparable to some of the best starters in the National League (not quite Adam Wainwright-esque, but impressive nonetheless) and the thought was that if he could reach nine or 10 wins by the All-Star break, he'd warrant a nod. But that was assuming his rate of production held constant, and his June numbers have simply been off. Minor acknowledged after his previous outing that his feel for his pitches has not felt the same since his start against the Pirates on June 4 and even though his final numbers (six innings pitched, three earned runs) did not reflect any obvious struggle, it's clear that Minor has not been the same pitcher of late. Against the Royals, Minor allowed nine hits, matching a season-worst mark he set in his previous start against the Mets -- so after allowing seven or more hits in just one of his first 13 starts this season, he's now given up that many hits to opponents in his past three outings. He hasn't pitched into the seventh inning since May 30 (which may be an organizational decision regardless of production, so take that for what it's worth). "Mike did a nice job," manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "He had a couple innings that were stressful innings but I think his last two innings were the best two innings he's thrown today.' Another curious note: Minor let up yet another home run on Wednesday, this one a solo shot by Royals outfielder Alex Gordon. Only Cory Rasmus is giving up more homers per nine innings among Braves pitchers this season. Minor was too good in his 25 previous starts prior to this month's hiccups (dating back to last season's All-Star break) to assume he's lost "it", but he has some work to do in order to break out of his recent funk. Bad news for him: The funk could cost him his otherwise deserved All-Star consideration. 3. Braves suffer more injuries Fortunately for Atlanta, it features one of the deepest rosters in baseball because the injury bug just keeps biting. Jordan Schafer and Ramiro Pena were the latest "victims" -- and there's good news and bad news. First, the bad: Pena, the team's utility infielder who is hitting .278.330.443 with three home runs after signing as a free agent this past offseason, has a torn right labrum. He is set to undergo surgery on Thursday. His return date is undecided. While this is a notable loss for the Braves, it, once again, is not an insurmountable one. The name Tyler Pastornicky comes to mind as an ample replacement for what Pena provides -- last season's Opening Day shortstop has four hits in 16 plate appearances this season -- as the organization has been grooming him to play multiple positions, even taken grounders at third base in practice, since Spring Training. Recent 25-man addition Paul Janish could provide a lift as well. In better news, Jordan Schafer's X-rays came back negative Wednesday night after he fouled a ball off his right ankle and subsequently limped his way through another half inning before being replaced.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Top 10 takeaways from Super Bowl 50

Was firing Jeff Hornacek the wrong move for the Suns?

Panthers picked wrong day to play worst game of the season

Was Peyton Manning paid for Budweiser mentions?

Cam Newton walks out of postgame press conference

Eli did not look thrilled after Peyton locked up Super Bowl

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Rick Reilly sends awkward tweet during Super Bowl 50

Peyton Manning gives Papa John a kiss after game

Panthers' Josh Norman crying after losing Super Bowl

Peyton Manning ‘going to drink a lot of Budweiser’ after win

Where Peyton Manning ranks among Super Bowl era QBs

Peyton Manning declines to comment on possible retirement

Winners and losers from Super Bowl 50

The best and worst commercials from Super Bowl 50

Aqib Talib wipes out on NFL Network

Six best plays from Super Bowl 50

Five biggest boneheaded plays of Super Bowl 50

WATCH: Cam Newton gives questionable effort to recover fumble

Lions say Calvin Johnson's future still not determined

How Louisville basketball bungled their self-imposed ban

Ted Ginn Jr. whiffs on football twice on one play, results in Panthers turnover

Kony Ealy makes one-handed interception of Peyton Manning

Mike Carey gets another call wrong on incomplete pass in SB

Steph Curry beats Panthers' "Keep Pounding" drum

Did Beyonce almost fall down during Super Bowl halftime show?

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The best and worst commercials from Super Bowl 50

Best and worst from Super Bowl 50

Six best plays from Super Bowl 50

Eli doesn't look thrilled as Peyton wins Super Bowl

Did Beyonce almost fall down during Super Bowl halftime show?

Curry to serve as drummer for Panthers

Report: Marshawn Lynch plans to retire

The 14 biggest plays in Super Bowl history

Five outrageous predictions for Super Bowl 50

QUIZ: Name the winning starting quarterback from every Super Bowl

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker