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Jul 27, 2014; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Braves shortstop Andrelton Simmons (19) high fives with left fielder Justin Upton (8) after defeating the San Diego Padres at Turner Field. The Braves defeated the Padres 8-3. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Atlanta Braves blast San Diego Padres behind third inning explosion

On a day marked by the Hall of Fame induction of Bobby Cox, Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine (congratulations!), the Atlanta Braves still had business to take care of on the field against the San Diego Padres. Fortunately, a single half-inning was all it took to blow past the visitors from the west, as the Braves put up a six-spot in the bottom of the third on the way to an 8-3 victory.

Mike Minor allowed the first run of the game on a solo home run to Yangervis Solarte in the top half of the third, but that was apparently all the offense needed to grab a jumpstart. Gerald Laird led things off with a double, he was brought home with an RBI double by Andrelton Simmons, and after back-to-back singles from B.J. Upton and Tommy La Stella, the Braves had the lead to stay. The two biggest knocks of the inning came from Chris Johnson and Ryan Doumit, however, as each drove in two runs with two out hits, and Atlanta exited the inning with a 5-run lead.

The aforementioned Minor wasn’t spectacular by any means, but he was solid enough to grab a bounce-back victory. The left-hander’s struggles have been well chronicled in recent days, but aside from the home run ball biting him again, Minor was decent in allowing just 3 earned runs over 6.2 innings while striking out 6 members of the Padres. Of course, his ERA only lowered to 5.23 for the season (yikes), but if he can ever keep the ball in the ballpark, things will progress.

As a whole, there wasn’t a singular offensive star for the Braves, but each member of the lineup managed to reach base, and it was nice to see B.J. Upton crank out two hits while scoring two runs at the top of the lineup. Fredi Gonzalez has been vocal in suggesting he would keep his lineup in a similar mold moving forward, and the past two days have given him some level of justification.

The Braves and Padres will wrap up their series on Monday with a rare 12:10 pm ET first pitch on a weekday. Atlanta will send Ervin Santana to the mound in opposition of San Diego’s Jason Lane. Stay tuned.

Tags: Atlanta Braves

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