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Thursday July 2nd, 2015 10:43PM

Minor strikes out 5 in Double-A rehab start

By The Associated Press
PEARL, Miss. -- Atlanta Braves left-hander Mike Minor says his shoulder felt good after throwing two innings in a rehab assignment at Double-A Mississippi on Thursday.

He's confident better results are coming.

Minor struck out five, but also gave up three runs and four hits, including a home run.

"Honestly, I didn't really care as much about the outcome as long as I felt good," Minor said. "I know I can make some changes and my location will be better. I looked at this as more of a spring training outing because I'm so far behind."

The 6-foot-4, 220-pound Minor struck out the first two batters he faced, but then gave up four straight hits, including the opposite-field homer. He struck out the side in the second.

Minor said he had good velocity on his pitches - and Trustmark Park's radar gun consistently clocked his fastball in the low 90s - but he had trouble locating the ball within the strike zone. He threw 39 pitches, including 26 strikes.

"He'd call it outside and I'd throw it inside," Minor said. "He'd call a changeup and I was trying to manipulate it too much, so it would be too straight and not have enough action. My curve was side to side, it needs to be more up and down.

"It sounds like a lot, but it's really not. It's just pinpointing everything on the mechanical side and getting those things ironed out in my bullpens."

Minor had a 13-9 record and a 3.21 ERA last season. He had urinary tract surgery on Dec. 31, which delayed his preparation for the season, and then developed shoulder tendinitis during spring training.

Minor is one of three Atlanta pitchers currently on rehab assignments in the minors.

Right-hander Gavin Floyd also had a start on Thursday, pitching for Triple-A Gwinnett. He lasted just 1 1-3 innings, giving up two hits and two runs while throwing 42 pitches.

Ervin Santana will start for Gwinnett on Friday in what is expected to be his final minor league game. He had a late start to spring training after signing with Atlanta on March 12.

Braves general manager Frank Wren said Wednesday that Minor, Floyd and Santana must be able to pitch six innings before being promoted to the big leagues.

Minor said he expects to make at least two more starts in the minors before joining the big league club.

Atlanta's starting rotation was depleted by the loss of Brandon Beachy and Kris Medlen to season-ending elbow injuries. The Braves started the season with a four-man rotation of Julio Teheran, Alex Wood, Aaron Harang and David Hale.

Even with the rash of injuries, Minor said there's no rush to get back to Atlanta.

"We've played well the first two games and I think we'll continue to do that," Minor said.
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