Mike Minor Continues To Dazzle As Braves Shutout Mets Saturday, 2-0.

Chipper Jones To Play Final Regular Season Home Game Sunday

Saturday, September 29, 2012
Mike Minor (11-10) has lowered his ERA from 6.20 to 4.12 in his final 15 starts of the season.
Mike Minor (11-10) has lowered his ERA from 6.20 to 4.12 in his final 15 starts of the season.
- photo by Tim Evearitt

ATLANTA -- If Mike Minor spends the next couple of weeks doing what he has done over the past couple of months, Kris Medlen will not be the only Braves pitcher drawing rave reviews during the postseason. If the Braves advance to the Division Series, Minor could be lined up to start Game 2.

Three months after putting himself in position to be removed from the starting rotation, Minor received a rousing standing ovation from the sellout crowd that packed Turner Field on Saturday night. His 6 1/3 strong innings, combined with a pair of Martin Prado doubles, carried the Braves to a 2-0 win over the Mets.

Making his final regular-season start, Minor limited the Mets to three hits. The 24-year-old left-hander was in complete control, as he had faced just one more than the minimum number of batters before seeing his evening end with David Wright's one-out double in the seventh.

Chad Durbin and Luis Avilan combined to leave Wright stranded and preserve this effort from Minor, who posted a 2.21 ERA in his final 15 starts of the season. He won each of his final five decisions and compiled a very impressive 0.87 ERA in five September starts.

Prado helped Minor gain an early lead when he drilled an opposite-field double off Chris Young with one out in the first inning. He advanced to third base on a wild pitch and scored on Jason Heyward's groundout.

The Braves received an insurance run in the fifth inning when Andrelton Simmons scored on a two-out double from Prado, who has batted .368 in his past 23 games.

With Minor setting the tone and Prado extending his recent hot-hitting ways, the Braves won for the 11th time in their past 14 games. Even with their recent success, their slim hopes of catching the Nationals for the National League East title are almost dead.

The Braves are ready to start Medlen on Friday in the one-game playoff that will determine which of the NL's two Wild Card entrants advance to the Division Series. If they win that game, they will enter the NLDS confident about a starting rotation that has been bolstered by Minor's turnaround.

Showing some of the same poise and maturity that he displayed from the first day of Spring Training, Minor was not fazed while pitching in front of a raucous crowd that gathered for the second-to-last regular-season game Chipper Jones played in Atlanta.

Scott Hairston opened the second inning with a single and then was erased when Minor got Jason Bay to ground into a double play. The only other hit the Mets recorded before Wright's double came courtesy of Andres Torres' one-out single in the fourth inning.

Box Score 

---- Source: MLB.com

Martin Prado leads the National League with 61 multi-hit games.
Martin Prado leads the National League with 61 multi-hit games.
- Photo2 by Tim Evearitt

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