clear
Wednesday July 1st, 2015 2:40AM

Minor impresses, Braves lose 13-4 to Future Stars

By The Associated Press
ROME -- Mike Minor is looking forward to rejoining the Braves' rotation as soon as possible.

The left-hander moved closer to that goal by reporting no discomfort in his left shoulder in his first game of the spring.

Minor retired all four batters in a rain-shortened appearance and the Atlanta Braves lost 13-4 to the Braves Future Stars in an exhibition game Saturday.

Minor, who was scheduled to pitch two innings, didn't return following a 44-minute rain delay in the second inning.

The good news is Minor reported no problems after having his spring schedule delayed by tendinitis in his shoulder.

"It feels good," Minor said. "I didn't really throw that many pitches."

Minor will open the season on the 15-day disabled list.

"It felt good to actually pitch in a game atmosphere," Minor said "... Hopefully, I can be back with the team in a couple of weeks."

Manager Fredi Gonzalez said the Braves hope Minor and right-hander Gavin Floyd, recovering from shoulder surgery, are ready by the end of April.

The Braves need Minor to get healthy after losing starting pitchers Kris Medlen and Brandon Beachy to season-ending elbow injuries.

Minor, a 13-game winner in 2013, retired the Future Stars in order on only eight pitches in the first inning. He recorded a groundout to open the second before heavy rain caused the delay.

The delay was short, but the Braves were taking no chances with Minor's shoulder. Pitching coach Roger McDowell and manager Fredi Gonzalez inspected the mound near the end of the delay before McDowell motioned to the bullpen, ending Minor's day.

"It was fine," Gonzalez said of Minor's short day. "First time out there, it was good."

The Braves had good reason to use caution with Minor.

Minor had urinary tract surgery on Dec. 31 and then had a sore shoulder in Florida. The left-hander is being counted on to join Julio Teheran and Ervin Santana as leaders of the depleted rotation.

The pitching staff took another hit before the game when general manager Frank Wren announced reliever Cory Gearrin has a "significant" ligament injury in his right elbow. Wren said Gearrin, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list, will see Dr. James Andrews next week for a second opinion.

With all of Atlanta's starters out of the game, Josh Elander hit a grand slam off Atahualpa Severino in the Future Stars' eight-run seventh inning.

Center fielder Kyle Wren, the GM's son, had two hits and drove in a run for the Future Stars.

STARTING TIME

The Braves finalized their 25-man roster and announced that right-hander David Hale will open the season as the fourth starter behind Teheran, Alex Wood and Aaron Harang. The Braves will use only four starters until Santana joins the rotation in mid-April.

Right-hander Gus Schlosser, who was competing with Hale, also made the team and will pitch out of the bullpen. Left-hander Ryan Buchter was recalled from Triple-A Gwinnett when Gearrin was placed on the disabled list.

The Braves went through the leaders of their projected bullpen after Minor's exit. Luis Avilan, Craig Kimbrel, David Carpenter and Anthony Vavaro each pitched an inning. Kimbrel gave up a run in the fourth when Edward Salcedo doubled, stole third and scored on a fly ball by Edison Sanchez.

Right-hander Jason Hursh, the Braves' first-round pick in 2013, started for the Future Stars and pitched two scoreless innings, allowing two hits with three strikeouts.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Left-hander Ian Thomas left the game after he was hit on his left hip by Sanchez's liner in the seventh. Gonzalez said Thomas, who made the 25-man roster, wasn't seriously hurt and was removed for precautionary reasons.

HALL OF FAMER IN DUGOUT

Former Braves manager Bobby Cox, who will be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame on July 27, managed the Future Stars. He was assisted by Class A Rome Braves manager Jonathan Schuerholz, the son of Braves President John Schuerholz.

John Schuerholz led the crowd in "Take Me Out To The Ballgame" in the seventh-inning stretch.

Cox, 72, works with the Braves as a special assistant to the general manager.
© Copyright 2015 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
2014 Top 10: Looking back at the top sports stories of the year
It was another year for the record books in 2014, mostly for the right reasons -- state championships, new challenges and new stars taking their turn to shine. But there were also plenty of big stories that reminded us that sports -- like life -- isn
11:55PM ( 6 months ago )
NASCAR K&N Pro Series schedules set for 2015
DAYTONA BEACH, FL - NASCAR announced recently the 2015 schedules for its top developmental regional touring series, the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East and NASCAR K&N Pro Series West.
2:00PM ( 5 months ago )
Lanierland boys final: Johnson makes history with win over Red Elephants <b> (VIDEO) </b>
Ever the aggressor on the court, Johnson
8:55AM ( 5 months ago )
Sports
Pits will be tight as Chili Bowl entry count hits 316
TULSA, OK - The 29th annual Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Midget Nationals presented by General Tire is on track to be a record smashing event, with the entry count climbing over the 300 mark for the first time to 316 entries confirming 303 drivers for the indoor spectacular happening Tuesday, January 13 through Saturday, January 17 at the Tulsa Expo Center in Tulsa, OK.
9:59AM ( 6 months ago )
Falcons fire Mike Smith after 2nd straight losing season
Mike Smith's status as the winningest coach in Falcons history wasn't enough to save his job. Owner Arthur Blank said he fired Smith on Monday because in his "heart of hearts" he didn't believe Smith could take the Falcons to the Super Bowl.
7:58PM ( 6 months ago )
New promoters in place for 2015 at Senoia Raceway
SENOIA, GA - Lease papers have been signed and a team of new promoters is in place for the upcoming stock car racing season at Senoia Raceway in Senoia, GA.
6:00AM ( 6 months ago )
Professional Sports
U.S. women head to WWC final with 2-0 shutout of Germany
Carli Lloyd buried a penalty kick, Hope Solo got another shutout and the United States beat top-ranked Germany 2-0 on Tuesday night to advance to the title match at the Women's World Cup.
By The Associated Press
9:23AM ( 6 hours from now )
Nats continue dominance over Braves
Jordan Zimmermann took a shutout into the eighth inning and the Washington Nationals beat the Atlanta Braves 6-1 on Tuesday night to continue their season-long dominance of the division rivalry.
By The Associated Press
11:53PM ( 2 hours ago )
Daytona offers American flags in exchange program
Daytona International Speedway will not ban the Confederate flag from track property this weekend, but will offer the American flag to those who wish to fly it on property.
By The Associated Press
10:12PM ( 4 hours ago )
Hawks' Korver expected to be ready after elbow surgery
Atlanta Hawks guard Kyle Korver is expected to be ready for the start of training camp following surgery to remove loose bodies in his right elbow.
By The Associated Press
9:48PM ( 4 hours ago )
Garner named new girls soccer coach at Gainesville
Former Gainesville High School athlete and coach, Shelly Garner, has been named new girls soccer coach at Gainesville.
11:44PM ( 1 day ago )