Braves’ A.J. Minter returns, has strong outing in relief

Atlanta Braves pitcher A.J. Minter is all smiles after rejoining the team in the dugout before playing the Cincinnati Reds in a MLB baseball game on Wednesday, August 11, 2021, in Atlanta.   “Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@ajc.com”
Caption
Atlanta Braves pitcher A.J. Minter is all smiles after rejoining the team in the dugout before playing the Cincinnati Reds in a MLB baseball game on Wednesday, August 11, 2021, in Atlanta. “Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@ajc.com”

Credit: Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@

One positive for the Braves from Thursday’s 12-3 loss to Cincinnati was A.J Minter returning from his four-week stint in Triple-A Gwinnett looking like his vintage self.

ExploreMichael Cunningham: Braves taste first place, will keep rolling against struggling foes

The 27-year-old lefty entered the game in the seventh inning and struck out three Reds and didn’t allow a baserunner, using just 24 pitches to get the six outs. It was a much different outing than Minter’s last two games with the Braves against the Rays in mid-July, where he gave up three earned runs, two walks and didn’t strike anyone out in an inning of work.

“He looked good, real efficient,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said.

Minter returning to 2020 form is a good sign for the Braves, who once again find themselves in the NL East race with less than 50 games left in the regular season.

Another reliever that has come around in recent weeks is left-hander Tyler Matzek. In the last seven appearances, Matzek has 10 strikeouts, two walks and just one hit allowed in 6 2/3rds innings.

“(Matzek) has been outstanding,” Snitker said before Thursday’s game. “I think he’s made some adjustments and he’s throwing the ball as good as I’ve ever seen him. He threw the ball really well last year, but just the consistency and attacking hitters like he’s doing has been really good.”

Snitker said after the game that both will be available in Friday night’s series opener against the Nationals.

Reds 12, Braves 3 (box score)

About the Author

ajc.com

Editors' Picks