Three weeks ago Mike Minor was extremely frustrated and even dismayed, wondering what he could do to get his disappointing season turned around so he could help instead of hinder the Braves’ playoff chances. On Friday night, he came within four outs of throwing a no-hitter against the Reds, at the most hitter-friendly ballpark in the major leagues. He pitched brilliantly and got no decision, but Justin Upton made sure Minor got to savor victory by launching a towering two-run homer in the 12th inning to lift the Braves to a 3-1 win. Upton’s 25th homer — and 85th and 86th RBIs — sent the Braves to their seventh win in eight games and 10th in 15 games since an 0-8 road trip. He’s 19-for-46 (.413) with five homers and 20 RBIs during a 13-game hitting streak. The Braves had left 12 runners on base, including at least one in eight of 11 innings, before Freddie Freeman drew a one-out walk in the 12th and Upton followed him and turned an 0-1 split-finger fastball from Manny Parra into a moonshot of a homer to the left-field seats. After Minor dominated the Reds into the eighth, five Braves relievers pitched 4 1/3 innings of one-hit ball, and Craig Kimbrel struck out Skip Schumaker with a runner at second base to end the game and collect his 38th save. Minor received a standing ovation from Reds and Braves fans alike in a crowd of 31,160 at Bank One Ball Park when he came off the field after allowing one hit, one run and four walks with five strikeouts in 7 2/3 innings. It was a resounding performance by the left-hander, who was replaced after Billy Hamilton hit a two-out flare single in the eighth than not only broke up the no-hit bit but drove in the tying run to make the score 1-all.
J. Upton’s 12th-inning homer gives Braves a 3-2 win over Reds
Atlanta Journal-Constitution | Aug 23