Braves quotes after Thursday’s loss to Red Sox

BOSTON — Braves quotes from Craig Kimbrel, B.J. Upton, Mike Minor and manager Fredi Gonzalez after Thursday's 4-3 loss in Boston.

**FREDI GONZALEZ

On the late-innings meltdown

“We didn’t handle the baseball. We didn’t handle the baseball the last two innings and it came back and bit us. It’s not like us to do that a lot. Those last two innings of the ballgame, you’ve got to take care of the baseball. And we didn’t do that.”

To that point Minor had pitched well and you got a few big hits

“Absolutely. I thought we had some good stuff going. It’s a tough way to lose. It’s a tough one to swallow, really. We’ll see how we come back tomorrow and handle it. But Minor was terrific. Heyward hits a home run and gets us up, and Mikey pitched a terrific game. The eighth and ninth innings we just didn’t get it done, and gave them opportunity to create runs by the way we didn’t handle the baseball.”

Not like shaking up lineup, what can you do after making several defensive blunders this week against Red Sox?

“You’ve just got to keep working, keep running them out there and talking through it, that kind of stuff. I don’t know if it’s just the atmosphere in Boston or what it is, but we need to get better. Because we need to win those one-run or two-run games. You feel better when somebody gets a base hit or hits a two-run homer, something like that. I know I feel that way and I’m sure those guys in there feel the same way. You never like to lose ballgames, but to lose them like that is really … it’s not good.”

On La Stella having rough night in the field

“You’ve got to keep working with him. He’s not a finished product obviously. Keep working. I’m sure there’s no place he’s ever been that can simulate what he had to go through here the last couple of days in Boston, and also the eighth and ninth innings of an Braves-Red Sox game in Boston. I think the more you run him out there, the more he feels comfortable. There’s no other experience, no place in the minor leagues where there’s a Fenway with 45,000 people and you’re playing the Boston Red Sox.”

Kimbrel’s walked the leadoff guy plenty, but not the first two in the ninth inning like he did tonight

“You know what, again, you put him in a situation where you bring him in in the eighth inning, and it’s something that maybe sitting down and getting cranked back up wasn’t conducive, but we’ve got to try it, we’ve got to do it. I thought the situation called for our big-game pitcher and he did a nice job getting Rossy with the bases loaded, so maybe that experience of sitting down for a little bit and getting back out there could help him.”

**CRAIG KIMBREL

Did entering in the eighth inning have any effect on you in the ninth?

“Getting up early didn’t, two walks in the ninth did. If you can’t throw the ball over the plate it’s kind of hard to get outs. That ball was hit hard and I thought Chris did a good job to get a glove on it. It’s unfortunate that the ball got away like it did.”

On tough loss after Minor pitched so well and you got enough hits to build a 3-1 lead

“Yeah, Mike threw a great game. We just didn’t finish it up in the bullpen. We’re supposed to come in and throw scoreless innings and get the starting pitcher the win, and we didn’t do that.”

On atmosphere at Fenway in late innings

“It’s the same. It gets loud and gets intense in every ballpark. Ballpark has nothing to do with it.”

**MIKE MINOR

On watching the late innings unfold after he left game

“It’s just unfortunate. I thought we were making good pitches at the end, balls were just kind of dropping. We couldn’t get an out. They’re a tough team. I feel like all four games we played them they battled back every time. It’s kind of expected out of them to battle back, and it’s just unfortunate for us.”

On his strong performance

“I thought it was pretty good. Couple of balls off the wall, I’d take those back (if could). But it was pretty good.”

On wanting to go deeper in game

“The fifth or sixth inning I started off the inning 2-and-0, then the next batter maybe 1-and-0 or 2-and-0. I need to attack those guys.”

So looking back, you think you could’ve been more efficient, gotten deeper than seven innings with 113 pitches?

“Yeah, for sure. That’s what it comes back to. Just those few pitches.”

Quite a difference since your last start here though?

“Yeah, I’ll take this one any day.”

**B.J. UPTON

On his error in eighth inning

“Tried to make a play at the plate to stop the tying run. The grass just kind of grabbed (the ball) and shot it away from me. You can’t really anticipate that. I had it lined up right in the middle of my body, went to field it, and the grass just kind of took it away from me. You don’t want it to happen, you don’t really see it a lot, but that’s what happens.”

The grass changed the movement or bounce of the ball?

“Yeah, saw a couple of them that inning. The one that shot by Justin, same thing. The one that Tommy had a chance for the double-play on, did the same exact thing. Just a moment you’re not really anticipating. You can’t really anticipate either way, you just have to play it how you’re going to play it. It’s just what happens.”

Ball snaked (move side to side) a little, or just the spin?

“No (didn’t snake). Just the spin, the grass grabbed it. It was a perfect ball to throw on initially. It was going to take a nice, long hop for me, which it did. But the grass grabbed it and it kind of faded away from me.”

How tough was this loss, seems like Red Sox capitalized on mistakes and made most of opportunities all week

“I know. You play this game long enough, things like that are going to happen. And like I said, those type of things in the moment are tough to anticipate. We’ll get by it and get ready to play tomorrow.”