A night after the Braves were shutout for the seventh time this season, manager Fredi Gonzalez made some major lineup changes which sparked the Braves offense and resulted in an 11-3 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays.
Gonzalez decided it was the right time to sit the struggling BJ Upton, Dan Uggla and Jason Heyward, and the move paid off. That move paved the way for Ramiro Pena, Jordan Schafer and the legendary Evan Gattis to all get at bats against R.A. Dickey.
Pena made the most of his promotion to the lineup by going 3-4 with a career high four RBI’s. Gattis also notched a three-hit night going 3-4 and Schafer chipped in at 2-5 with two RBI’s.
Altogether, the Braves collected a season high 16 hits, and with the strikeout-prone Upton and Uggla out of the lineup, only had five strikeouts on the night.
Dickey, the reigning National League Cy Young winner, would pitch six innings giving up 11 hits and six runs on the night. The Toronto relievers, Brad Lincoln and Todd Redmond, combined to give up five runs on five hits in just two innings of work.
Mike Minor, who is quickly becoming an ace for the Atlanta staff, went seven strong innings, allowing just five hits and three runs, only two of which were earned, while striking out five. Minor dominated Jays hitters until a rough sixth inning allowed the Jays to tie the game at three runs a side. Andrelton Simmons, who through the first 92 games of his career committed an astounding three errors, committed his third error in seven games allowing the Jays to extend the inning and eventually tie the game on a Mark DeRose double.
Minor would pitch one more inning before giving way to Jordan Walden and Alex Wood. Walden worked one inning without allowing a hit and picked up a strikeout. While Wood was making his MLB debut and closed out the ninth giving up just one hit in front of the hometown crowd.
Minor improved to 7-2 overall with a 2.48 ERA, while R.A. Dickey fell to 4-7 with a 5.18 ERA.
Some items worth noting-
It was Freddie Freeman bobblehead night and he blasted a home run in the third inning off of Dickey.
Reed Johnson hit a pinch hit home run in the eighth inning.
Chris Johnson went just 1-4, but his average is still a team high .343.
Wood is the fifth player from the 2012 Rule 4 Draft to make his MLB debut this year after being selected by the Braves in the second round 85th overall out of the University of Georgia.
Juan Francisco was Designated For Assignment prior to the game. Francisco was batting .241/.287/.398 with five home runs through 35 games.