Published April 05, 2013
| Sports Network
Breakout left-hander Mike Minor makes his initial start of 2013 Friday when the Atlanta Braves host the Chicago Cubs in the first of three weekend games at Turner Field.
Minor, the seventh overall pick of the Braves in 2009, reached the majors in 2010 and was 8-5 through two seasons and 24 appearances - 23 starts - before becoming a full-time starter in 2012 and thriving in the role.
He was 11-10 in 30 starts and posted career-bests in earned run average (4.12), opposition batting average (.232), innings pitched (179 1/3) and strikeouts (145).
The 25-year-old Tennessee native is unbeaten in four career meetings - all starts - with the Cubs, winning all four decisions while posting a 4.30 ERA across 23 innings.
For Chicago, veteran right-hander Scott Feldman makes his National League debut after spending eight seasons with the Texas Rangers.
The 6-foot-7, 230-pound Hawaii native was 8-11 in 29 outings with the Rangers in 2012, making 21 starts and allowing 139 hits and 79 runs in 123 2/3 innings.
His best season came in 2009, when he was 17-8 with a 4.08 ERA in 34 appearances.
In his other seven seasons, he's combined to go 22-36.
Feldman signed a one-year deal worth $6.5 million in the offseason.
On Thursday in Atlanta, Cliff Lee tossed eight scoreless innings and the Philadelphia Phillies beat the Braves, 2-0, to avoid a three-game sweep.
Braves starter Kris Medlen (0-1) allowed two runs on six hits over five innings to take the loss. The right-hander went 10-1 with a 1.57 ERA in 50 games (12 starts) last season.
"Obviously it wasn't ideal conditions, but this is what we are going to be dealing with in the whole month of April," Medlen said. "We are going to Colorado and Pittsburgh and Detroit. So that's not an excuse at all. You can't give Cliff Lee a two-run lead in the beginning of the game."
After totaling 16 runs in the first two games of the season, the Braves were held to two hits on Thursday. Dan Uggla singled with two outs in the second inning and Justin Upton singled in the fourth.
In Pittsburgh, Travis Wood pitched six shutout innings and Nate Schierholtz slugged a big two-run homer, as the Cubs held on for a 3-2 win over Pittsburgh in the rubber match of a three-game series at PNC Park.
Wood (1-0) surrendered just one hit, walked two and struck out four. He also singled and scored a run to help the Cubs win a season-opening series for the first time since 2009.
The Cubs won four of seven games against Atlanta last season.