ATLANTA — Freddie Freeman and Justin Upton homered to help Mike Minor win his second consecutive start, and the Atlanta Braves beat the Milwaukee Brewers 9-3 on Monday night.
Pinch-hitter Ryan Doumit also went deep for Atlanta in a matchup of first-place teams. The Braves, who had lost 12 of 18, never trailed in winning their second straight game.
Atlanta began the night with the fewest runs in the majors. But the Braves they banged out 15 hits and improved to 18-5 when hitting a home run.
Minor (2-2) gave up two runs and five hits with five strikeouts in 6 2-3 innings.
The Brewers have lost three straight and four of six.
Wily Peralta (4-3) allowed nine hits, a season-high four walks and three runs — two earned — with five strikeouts in five innings. The right-hander began the night 1-1 with a 1.29 ERA in three starts this month.
Mets’ Collins bristles at Lagares questions
WASHINGTON — New York Mets manager Terry Collins is tired of talking about Juan Lagares’ playing time.
The center fielder was left out of the starting lineup four times in a stretch of five games last week, raising eyebrows because of Lagares’ fine play this season. Collins, however, has four outfielders he wants to get regular at-bats, so someone is the odd man out each night.
Lagares was in a 5-for-27 slide at the plate when he returned to the starting lineup Saturday. He had a huge game against Washington with a home run, three RBIs and a leaping catch at the wall to rob Jayson Werth of a homer.
Asked before Sunday’s game what Lagares needs to do to become an everyday player, Collins bristled.
“He has been an everyday player,” Collins said. “He got into a little bit of a funk. It’s not like I sat him for seven days. I sat him for two days, for cripes sake. We’re getting a little carried away here. Somebody gets a day off and it’s like the sky’s falling in. It’s not. He’s the center fielder.”
Lagares was back in the lineup Sunday and went 1 for 4 with an RBI single in New York’s 6-3 loss to the Nationals. Chris Young began the game on the bench, while Lagares was flanked in the outfield by Eric Young Jr. and Curtis Granderson.
An outstanding defender, the 25-year-old Lagares is batting .302 with two homers and 15 RBIs in 30 games. He spent time on the disabled list with a hamstring injury.