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Braves Vs. Pirates: Mike Minor Makes Spot Start In Series Finale

After a shut down performance by Jair Jurrjens resulted in a 2-0 win for the Braves in the series opener, Atlanta is looking for a short sweep of the Pirates with a 12:35 start on Wednesday. The game is on SportSouth.

Braves Lineup:

1. Jordan Schafer, CF

2. Alex Gonzalez, SS

3. Chipper Jones, 3B

4. Brian McCann, C

5. Eric Hinske, LF

6. Dan Uggla, 2B

7. Freddie Freeman, 1B

8. Joe Mather, RF

9. Mike Minor, SP

Pirates Lineup:

1. Jose Tabata, LF

2. Steve Pearce, 3B

3. Andrew McCutchen, CF

4. Neil Walker, 2B

5. Ryan Doumit, C

6. Matt Diaz, RF

7. Lyle Overbay, 1B

8. Ronny Cedeno, SS

9. James McDonald, SP

Mike Minor (AAA: 52.2 IP, 2.73 ERA, 3.43 FIP, 2.39 BB/9, 9.23 K/9; MLB: 4.1 IP, 7 H, 5 ER, 4 BB, 2 K)
James McDonald (47.1 IP, 5.51 ERA, 5.04 FIP, 4.34 xFIP, 4.37 BB/9, 7.42 K/9, 38 GB%, 7.4 SwStr%)
(70.2 FB%, 19.4 CB%, 10.4 CH%; 46.7 Swing%, 83 Contact%)

Minor is receiving a spot start in place of the injured Tim Hudson. It's his second spot start this season after filling in for Jurrjens on April 6, which didn't go well, allowing five runs in 4.1 innings to the Brewers. Minor has pitched pretty well for Triple-A Gwinnett, though he hasn't been lights out as his ERA suggests. He gave up five runs on 10 hits in his last start, not walking any and striking out eight. Here's to hoping his second spot start goes better than the first.

McDonald has had his share of ups and downs this season, and the downs have affected his numbers. Eight homers and a 12.9 HR/FB% have been a big part of it. This is McDonald's first full season at age 26, so these struggles are expected, but he has some good stuff, including a low-to-mid-90s fastball and solid curve. His most recent start was one run on seven hits against the Reds, including one walk and four strikeouts.

For more on the series, Braves fans check out Talking Chop and Pirates fans check out Bucs Dugout.

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.