Play Fantasy The Most Award Winning Fantasy game with real time scoring, top expert analysis, custom settings, and more. Play Now
  • My Scores
  • MLB
  • Golf
  • NFL
  • NCAA FB
  • Tennis

Toronto at Atlanta

Scoreboard
Toronto (23-31)000003000371
Atlanta (32-21) «11100332x11161

Braves 11, Blue Jays 3

CBSSports.com wire reports
  •  

ATLANTA -- Fredi Gonzalez gave three struggling stars a chance to relax.

Fill-in starters Ramiro Pena, Jordan Schafer and Evan Gattis then showed the slumping regulars that hitting isn't so difficult.

Pena drove in four runs with three hits, including a run-scoring single in the sixth that gave Atlanta the lead, Mike Minor pitched seven strong innings and the Braves' makeshift lineup had a season-high 16 hits in an 11-3 victory against R.A. Dickey and the Toronto Blue Jays on Thursday night.

Freddie Freeman and Reed Johnson hit home runs, Gattis had three hits and Schafer had two hits, including a two-run single in the sixth.

"We are trying to do our job, you know," Pena said. "We want to play well also. I think we got great ABs and we produced."

Pena, Schafer and Gattis made the most of fill-in starts as Gonzalez rested three regulars hitting below .200: outfielders B.J. Upton and Jason Heyward and second baseman Dan Uggla.

Gonzalez wouldn't say after the game if he would hold out the regulars again when the Braves open a weekend series against the Washington Nationals on Friday night.

"We'll see," Gonzalez said. "The guys played well. One thing you always want to do is put your best team out there."

Minor (7-2) gave up six hits and three runs -- two earned -- with five strikeouts and no walks in winning his fourth straight decision.

Dickey (4-7) allowed 11 hits and six runs in six innings.

It was Dickey's fourth start allowing six or more runs this season, leaving his ERA at 5.18 one season after he won the NL Cy Young Award with the Mets.

Dickey said he gave up a lot of soft hits.

"I might have given up four hard-hit balls all night," Dickey said. "I mean, it was tough. It seemed like every ball off the bat would find a hole somewhere, or a little space in the outfield.

"This game's tough. It's hard. And you can't quit grinding it out, and you can't quit searching for the answers. I certainly won't. And I'll find it. I'll find it."

The Blue Jays scored three runs in the sixth to pull even at 3, but the Braves scored three runs off Dickey in the bottom of the inning. Pena's infield single drove in Gattis, who led off with a single. Schafer singled with two outs to drive in Chris Johnson, who reached on a fielder's choice grounder, and Pena.

Toronto manager John Gibbons said Dickey's velocity on his knuckleball is down.

"He's been battling that, trying to find it," Gibbons said. "He battles you out there. I know that's frustrating him."

One day after a 3-0 loss to the Blue Jays, the Braves made some lineup changes. Third baseman Juan Francisco, who was sharing time with Chris Johnson, was designated for assignment. Francisco was hitting .241 with five homers, 16 RBIs and 43 strikeouts in 108 at-bats.

The Braves have 10 days to trade, release or send Francisco outright to the minors.

Schafer, who hit leadoff and started in center field for Upton, had a first-inning double that bounced over third baseman Mark DeRosa. Schafer scored on Andrelton Simmons' single to left.

Gattis, starting in left field, led off the second by slapping a single to right field. Gattis scored on a single to left by Pena, who started for Uggla.

Heyward, pinch-hitting in the seventh, reached on catcher's interference when his bat hit J.P. Arencibia's glove.

Freeman pushed the lead to 3-0 in the third with his two-out homer off Dickey. The homer came on the night fans received Freeman bobblehead dolls.

Toronto pulled even in the sixth. Dickey led off with an infield single and moved to second when Simmons misplayed Jose Bautista's grounder for an error. Edwin Encarnacion drove in Dickey with a single to center field and DeRosa added a two-run double to right field.

Reed Johnson hit a pinch-hit, two-run homer off Todd Redmond in the eighth, capping the impressive show of depth on the Braves' roster.

"It's a deep team position-wise," Gonzalez said. "There are some days that the guys sitting on the bench may be better than the guys on the field and vice versa. You've got to take every opportunity and put guys out there."

Gonzalez remains confident in Upton, Uggla and Heyward.

"You've got to believe the back of the baseball cards, and they're good players," Gonzalez said. "It may not even be the end of June. It may be the middle of June or five days from now. Who knows? But those bench guys are playing well."

Notes

The Braves selected the contract of LHP Alex Wood from Double-A Mississippi. Wood, a 2012 second-round pick from the University of Georgia, pitched the ninth, allowing one hit, in his major league debut. ... Atlanta improved to 22-3 when scoring first. ... The Braves open a series against NL East rival Washington on Friday night when Julio Teheran faces Nationals ace Stephen Strasburg. The Blue Jays' seven-game road trip continues at San Diego, when Chad Jenkins will face Padres RHP Jason Marquis.

 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
COMMENTS
Conversation powered by Livefyre
Players of the Game
Atlanta

R. Pena
AB 4
R 1
H 3
HR 0
RBI 4
Atlanta

M. Minor
IP 7.0
H 6
ER 2
BB 0
K 5
 
Toronto Blue Jays
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Melky Cabrera, LF4000031 .286
Jose Bautista, RF4110010 .291
Edwin Encarnacion, 1B4111001 .264
Mark DeRosa, 3B4012001 .209
Colby Rasmus, CF4010001 .238
Maicer Izturis, SS4010002 .209
Emilio Bonifacio, 2B3010011 .213
Henry Blanco, C2000001 .171
   a- J.P. Arencibia, PH-C1000000 .238
R.A. Dickey, P2110000 .500
   b- Anthony Gose, PH1000010 .250
    Brad Lincoln, P0000000 .000
    Todd Redmond, P0000000 .000
Totals3337306  
a-flied out for Blanco in the 7th
b-struck out for Dickey in the 7th
Batting
2B - Mark DeRosa (6, Minor), Emilio Bonifacio (10, Minor)
RBI - Edwin Encarnacion (45), Mark DeRosa 2 (18)
Team LOB - 3
Fielding
DP - Bonifacio-Encarnacion
PB - J.P. Arencibia (7)
E - J.P. Arencibia (2, Interference)
Toronto Blue Jays
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
R.A. Dickey (L,4-7) 61166121 5.18
Brad Lincoln 1332120 6.89
Todd Redmond 1222011 18.00
Pitches-Strikes - R.A. Dickey 98-66, Brad Lincoln 30-19, Todd Redmond 24-14
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - R.A. Dickey 5-10
Batters Faced - R.A. Dickey 29, Brad Lincoln 8, Todd Redmond 5
Atlanta Braves
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Jordan Schafer, CF5122014 .313
Andrelton Simmons, SS4011101 .249
Justin Upton, RF-LF5110001 .259
    Alex Wood, P0000000 .000
Freddie Freeman, 1B5221022 .312
Evan Gattis, LF4330000 .285
    Jordan Walden, P0000000 .000
   a- Reed Johnson, PH-LF1112000 .263
Brian McCann, C4120100 .281
Chris Johnson, 3B4110016 .343
Ramiro Pena, 2B4134001 .319
Mike Minor, P2000013 .136
   b- Jason Heyward, PH-RF0000000 .152
Totals3811161025  
a-homered for Walden in the 8th
b-awarded first on catcher's interference for Minor in the 7th
Batting
2B - Jordan Schafer (3, Dickey)
HR - Freddie Freeman (4, Dickey), Reed Johnson (1, Redmond)
SH - Mike Minor (5)
RBI - Jordan Schafer 2 (8), Andrelton Simmons (20), Freddie Freeman (32), Reed Johnson 2 (6), Ramiro Pena 4 (12)
2-OUT RBI - Jordan Schafer 2 (6), Freddie Freeman (17), Reed Johnson 2 (3), Ramiro Pena 2 (6)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
DP - Johnson-Pena-Freeman, Simmons-Freeman
E - Andrelton Simmons (3, Misplayed grounder)
Atlanta Braves
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Mike Minor (W,7-2) 7632050 2.48
Jordan Walden 1000010 4.20
Alex Wood 1100000 0.00
Pitches-Strikes - Mike Minor 103-73, Jordan Walden 11-9, Alex Wood 7-6
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Mike Minor 8-8, Alex Wood 2-0
Batters Faced - Mike Minor 27, Jordan Walden 3, Alex Wood 3
Game Information
Attendance - 29967
Game Time - 2:31
Temperature - 81
Umpires - Home - Paul Nauert, First Base - James Hoye, Second Base - John Tumpane, Third Base - Jim Reynolds