The Braves were forced to option starter Jair Jurrjens to the minor leagues after losing last night's opener with the Dodgers. Young left- hander Mike Minor doesn't appear to be in similar danger.
Minor looks to win a third straight start tonight and draw Atlanta even with Los Angeles in this three-game series.
The seventh overall pick of the 2009 draft, Minor has allowed just one earned run over 15 1/3 innings to win consecutive starts since getting drilled for six runs over five innings of a loss to the Mets on April 8. He hurled a career-high eight innings on Thursday in Arizona, charged with two runs -- one earned -- on five hits while striking out nine without a walk.
"He's heading in the right direction," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez told his team's website afterwards. "He's growing up right in front of our eyes. He's maturing and using that changeup, and in 3-2 counts, he's throwing some pretty good breaking pitches."
The 24-year-old Minor has faced the Dodgers just once prior and allowed a run over six innings without a decision.
While Minor continues to mature, Jurrjens' regression reached another low point last night after he allowed five runs on nine hits and a walk over three-plus innings. He was then optioned to Triple-A Gwinnett after the game.
David Ross and Dan Uggla each belted home runs for the Braves, who have lost two straight on the heels of a five-game win streak.
"We didn't take advantage of our opportunities," admitted Ross. "They hit a lot of balls just out of the reach of our infielders. Jair made good pitches and got bad results."
Juan Uribe, meanwhile, put up excellent results for the Dodgers, matching a career high with four hits while also scoring twice and driving in three runs. A.J. Ellis knocked in two runs and Andre Ethier added three hits and an RBI as the Dodgers improved to 7-0 at home this season. They won for the fourth time in five games overall and at 13-4 have matched their best start after 17 games since 1983.
Chris Capuano tossed seven strong innings, scattering six hits and four walks with five strikeouts in getting the win.
"I stayed aggressive with my fastball and got ahead of hitters," remarked Capuano after the win. "My command improved the last couple of innings."
Los Angeles hopes that Aaron Harang can build off his first victory in tonight's start.
The 33-year-old righty allowed three runs on eight hits and a walk over six innings of a 4-3 triumph over Milwaukee on Thursday. Harang also struck out four one start after fanning a career high-tying 13, including a club-record nine in a row at one point.
The veteran is 1-3 with a 4.53 ERA in nine career starts against the Braves.
The Dodgers won five of seven versus the Braves last season.