Braves 11, Blue Jays 3

Guy Curtright, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

ATLANTA -- Mike Minor, the Atlanta Braves' new ace, is on a roll. The same can't be said for R.A. Dickey with the Toronto Blue Jays.
At least not a positive one.
Minor completed a 4-0 month of May with his 10th quality start in 11 games this season and the Braves pounded Dickey and the Blue Jays 11-3 on Thursday night for a split of their four interleague games.
Freddie Freeman smashed a home run, Evan Gattis and Ramiro Pena each had three hits and Reed Johnson belted a pinch-homer as the Braves finished with 16 hits.
Minor, 7-2 with a 2.48 ERA, allowed six hits and three runs -- two earned -- in seven innings, striking out five and walking none. The left-hander, a first-round draft choice in 2009 out of Vanderbilt, is 14-6 since last July.
Dickey, meanwhile, is having trouble getting untracked with the Blue Jays after going 20-6 for the New York Mets last season and winning the National League Cy Young Award.
The knuckleballer gave up 11 hits and six runs in six innings against the Braves as his record fell to 4-7 and his ERA rose to 5.18. He has given up at least six runs in four of his 12 starts with the Blue Jays, including the past two.
Minor, who had allowed just three hits in 7 1/3 innings against the Mets in New York last Saturday, had pitched five more scoreless innings before the Blue Jays put up three runs in the sixth to tie the score.
Dickey beat out an infield hit to start the inning and then usually sure-handed Braves shortstop Andrelton Simmons booted what was potentially an inning-ending double play. Edwin Encarnacion drove in the first run with a single and Mark DeRosa made it 3-3 with a two-run double.
But the Braves scored three times on four hits against Dickey in the bottom of the inning.
Pena had his second RBI hit of the game to break the tie and Jordan Schafer delivered a two-run single with two outs.
Once Dickey was out of the game, it got worse for the Blue Jays. The Braves scored three times in the seventh off Brad Lincoln and then in the eighth Johnson hit a two-run homer off Todd Redmond.
The Braves, who were blanked on four hits by four Blue Jays pitchers Wednesday, had two hits and a run by the time Dickey had thrown five pitches. Schafer led off by bouncing a double over the head of DeRosa at third and scored on a single by Simmons.
Three more singles followed in the second, Ramiro Pena getting the RBI after hits by Gattis and Brian McCann.
By the third, it was 3-0. Freeman picked on a first pitch from Dickey and pulled his fourth homer of the season into the right field seats. It was the first baseman's second career homer against Dickey and made him 10 for 20 against the knuckleballer.
The Blue Jays didn't get a runner into scoring position until the fifth, when Emilio Bonifacio doubled with two outs. Henry Blanco lined out to deep left field to end the inning.
NOTES: 3B Juan Francisco was designated for assignment by the Braves to make room for the team to go to a full complement of seven relievers. Francisco, who had platooned with Chris Johnson, was hitting .241 with five homers and 16 RBIs in 35 games. ... LHP Alex Wood, the Braves' second-round draft pick last June, was promoted from Double-A Mississippi and will move from a starter to a reliever. He led the Southern League with a 1.26 ERA and was 4-2 in 10 starts, striking out a batter per inning. ... CF B.J. Upton, hitting just .146, was out of the Braves' lineup for the fourth time in six games. ... The Braves also sat RF Jason Heyward (.152) and 2B Dan Uggla (.186).

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