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Thu, May 30, 2013 - 7:10 PM ET
 

Blue Jays-Braves Preview

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The Toronto Blue Jays snapped the Atlanta Braves' lengthy home winning streak. Now R.A. Dickey will try to end his career-long win drought at Turner Field.

Dickey will try to help Toronto take three of four in this split-venue series when he goes for his first victory in six starts at Atlanta on Thursday night.

The Blue Jays (23-30) had lost 12 of 19 on the road and eight of nine in Atlanta before winning 3-0 on Wednesday to snap the Braves' seven-game run at home.

Former Brave Melky Cabrera went 3 for 3 with a two-run single and four pitchers combined for the team's first road shutout of the season. Toronto can now win its first season series with Atlanta since 2008.

That might prove difficult if Dickey (4-6, 4.85 ERA) can't pitch better at Turner Field. He's gone 0-2 with a 6.67 ERA in five starts there and was especially bad in two such outings in 2012 despite winning the Cy Young Award, giving up 13 runs in 9 1-3 innings.

Dickey matched his loss total from last year after giving up six runs in 6 2-3 innings of a 6-5 defeat to Baltimore on Saturday.

"The journey is always ongoing but I certainly haven't felt like I did last year," he said. "There's some concrete reasons for that and there's some reasons I need to iron out in the bullpen in between outings."

Recurring neck and back soreness may have contributed to him yielding 11 homers in as many starts.

"My velocity hasn't been there this year so far, I haven't been able to go to the harder knuckleball," Dickey said.

The Braves (31-21) have hit an NL-leading 70 homers, but they had just four hits Wednesday in their fourth shutout at home this season. Freddie Freeman had two of those, including a triple, and is 7 for 13 in the series.

The first baseman went 6 for 9 with a homer and two doubles off Dickey last season.

The Braves, losers of three of four following an eight-game run, will give the ball to Mike Minor (6-2, 2.47) on Thursday. They could use a lengthy outing from him after starter Kris Medlen was removed after two innings Wednesday due to a contusion to his calf.

Minor has gone 3-0 with a 1.85 ERA in five May starts. He threw 7 1-3 innings of three-hit ball with 10 strikeouts in a 6-0 road win over the New York Mets on Saturday.

"He's a tough lefty," Freeman told the Braves' official website. "He goes out there, throws strikes, pounds the zone and he's not afraid to pitch to contact. We've got a great defense behind him. He's going to get his strikeouts, but he also knows we're going to make plays for him, too."

Minor has faced the Blue Jays once, a 5-1 home win June 21, 2011, in which he gave up one run in seven innings with eight strikeouts.

Cabrera, 11 for 20 in his career as a visitor at Atlanta, is 1 for 3 with a homer versus Minor.

Toronto will try to win three straight at Turner Field for the first time since 2006.

Tagged: Blue Jays, Braves, R.A. Dickey, Mike Minor

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