Atlanta Braves pitchers have always had a knack for being good at the plate, as well as on the mound. Mike Minor is the newest member of the club as he showed off his arm and his bat Thursday night in a 6-1 win over the New York Mets.
"It was fun to have a night like this hitting and pitching," he said.
Minor (6-8) had an RBI single in the second for the game’s first run. He doubled and scored in the eighth, then took a two-hit shutout into the bottom half.
"At one point of the game he was everything," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "He pitched well, drove in a run, (had) a double. He was not only pitching well, he was our offense for six innings."
Minor was perfect for four innings before Lucas Duda led off the fifth with a single that just barely touched the glove of leaping shortstop Andrelton Simmons.
"Today I thought his curveball was probably his best pitch, other than commanding his fastball," Gonzalez said. "He had a nice mix going and good for him. Young man earlier in the year had some tough luck and I think he’s progressing in the right direction."
In his previous start, Minor took a no-hit bid into the eighth inning against Cincinnati. Before that, Minor had given up three earned runs or more in nine of his previous eleven starts.
"Any day you face the Braves you’re going to face a pretty good pitcher," Mets third baseman David Wright said. "He threw a lot of fastballs — some were straight, some cut and some sank. His fastball command was excellent."
Wright was 0 for 4 in his return to the lineup after missing two games with a muscle spasm on the right side of his neck.
Minor gave up four hits, struck out five and walked none.
The Mets did not have a runner in scoring position until Travis d’Arnaud opened the eighth with a double. Eric Campbell followed with an RBI single, ending Minor’s night.
Jonathon Niese (7-10) only allowed one run until Minor and the Citi Field wind helped Atlanta score twice in the eighth.
Minor led off the eighth with his fifth career double, a ball that the wind carried over the head of right fielder Curtis Granderson. Emilio Bonifacio hit a triple to center field that was also helped by the wind, and scored on Freddie Freeman’s single.
Pinch-hitter Ryan Doumit had a two-run, wind-aided, homer onto the bridge beyond the wall in right-center field in a three-run ninth.
Doumit connected off Daisuke Matsuzaka, who came off the disabled list before the game. Bonifacio also had a run-scoring single for his fourth hit. He drove in two runs and stole a base.
Braves: LHP Jonny Venters has been shut down for the remainder of the year after a visit with Dr. James Andrews revealed a tear in his elbow. Venters was rehabbing following his second Tommy John reconstructive surgery.
Mets: Prior to the game, the Mets placed RHP Vic Black on the 15-day DL with a herniated disk in his neck. … After the game, the team put 2B Daniel Murphy on the 15-day DL with a strained right calf and selected INF Dilson Herrera from Double-A Binghamton.
Braves: Atlanta returns home from a 10-game road trip to begin six-game homestand Friday night against Miami and Philadelphia. RHP Ervin Santana (13-7, 3.60 ERA) takes the mound against Marlins RHP Tom Koehler (9-9, 3.82). Santana is 2-0 with a 3.26 ERA in three starts this year vs. Miami.
Mets: Philadelphia will visit for a three-game series starting Friday night. RHP Jacob deGrom (6-6, 3.13) pitches against Phillies RHP David Buchanan (6-7, 4.21) in a matchup of rookie pitchers. On May 31, deGrom faced the Phillies at Citizens Bank Ballpark, giving up three runs and striking out 11 over 6 1/3 innings in a no-decision. The Mets handed Buchanan his first major-league loss on May 29 and defeated the rookie a second time on Aug. 11.