Atlanta, GA – Ramiro Pena went 3-for-4 with four RBI and Mike Minor capped a brilliant May in leading the Atlanta Braves over the Toronto Blue Jays, 11-3, at Turner Field.
Minor (7-2) allowed just six hits and three runs -- two earned -- in seven quality innings of work. The left-hander struck out five, did not issue a walk and finished the month with a 4-0 record and a 1.98 ERA.
"I felt good again (and) obviously the bats were going," Minor said. "It felt good just to get a win against a tough team like this."
Evan Gattis had three of Atlanta's 16 hits and scored three times, Jordan Schafer went 2-for-5 with two RBI, and Freddie Freeman and Reed Johnson each homered for the Braves, who had lost three of four coming in.
R.A. Dickey (4-7) was knocked around for 11 hits and gave up six runs for a second straight start for the Blue Jays, who split the two-game interleague series after the clubs each took one game in Toronto earlier this week.
"I was around the strike zone all day long," an optimistic Dickey said. "I have to trust the process and try not to get discouraged."
Minor cruised through five frames and appeared to get out of the sixth unscathed when Jose Bautista hit a routine grounder to the usually sure-handed Andrelton Simmons. The Atlanta shortstop, though, booted the potential inning- ending double-play ball, and the Blue Jays capitalized with three runs to erase a 3-0 deficit.
Edwin Encarnacion hit an RBI single and Mark DeRosa made it 3-3 with a two-run double just inside the right-field line.
Atlanta, which was shut out by Toronto on Wednesday, struck right back with three runs in each of its next two at-bats to pull away for good.
The productive catching duo of Gattis and Brian McCann both singled to start the sixth, and Pena knocked in a run with an infield hit past a diving Encarnacion at first. Schafer followed with a two-run single to left,
The Braves loaded the bases with two singles and a walk in the seventh. Freeman scored on a passed ball when Brad Lincoln and J.P. Arencibia got crossed up, and Pena capped his productive night with a two-run single that bounced past Encarnacion again for a 9-3 lead.
Johnson's pinch-hit, two-run homer off Todd Redmond in the eighth capped the scoring.
Schafer led off the home first with a double and came around when Simmons dribbled one through the left side of the infield. Three of the first four hitters in the Braves' second singled, with Pena slicing a base hit to left to knock in Gattis for a 2-0 edge.
Freeman took a first-pitch knuckleball from Dickey over the right-field wall in the third.
Atlanta improved to 22-3 when scoring first ... Dickey fell to 2-6 in his career against the Braves ... Atlanta's Alex Wood was called up from Double-A Mississippi before the game and tossed a scoreless ninth in his Braves' debut ... The Braves host the Nationals for three games this weekend ... The Blue Jays head to San Diego for a three-game series with the Padres.