Mike Minor was pitching a great game into the eighth inning, but as soon as Fredi Gonzalez pulled him for Jonny Venters, everything went downhill in a heartbeat.
Wild Jonny showed up today and ruined what had been a well-pitched game by Minor when he gave up an eighth-inning grand slam to Alex Rodriguez, and the Yankees pulled out a 6-4 win.
Minor was staked to an early 3-0 when Matt Diaz hit a bases-loaded double off CC Sabathia in the first inning. Minor scattered four hits through seven innings and outside of the first inning, was never really in any danger. He struck out four and only walked one.
After giving up the three runs in the first, Sabathia had to work out of trouble in all but one of his seven innings. Atlanta had base runners in all but one inning against the Yankee lefty, but managed only one additional run, and that came in the seventh on Jason Heyward's RBI groundout. Braves hitters were just 1-for-10 with RISP in the game.
Meanwhile, Minor was cruising. He retired the first batter of the eighth, but once Derek Jeter singled, Fredi summoned Jonny Venters. Now, whether or not Minor would have gotten through the rest of the inning unscathed, we'll never know, but he hadn't been hit very hard the whole game. Venters gave up a single to Curtis Granderson, walked Mark Teixeira on five pitches and faced Alex Rodriguez with the bases loaded. On a 3-2 pitch, Rodriguez hit a line drive over the left field wall and just like that, the lead was gone. One base hit later, Cory Gearrin entered the game and promptly surrendered a two-run homer to Nick Swisher. That homer allowed Sabathia to pick up the win.
Rafael Soriano struck out two in the ninth for the save.
This was certainly a crushing defeat, but the Braves will try avoid a fourth straight loss and a sweep tomorrow.