Braves quotes after Wednesday’s loss to Royals

Quotes from manager Fredi Gonzalez, pitcher Mike Minor and catcher Gerald Laird following  Wednesday's loss to the Royals.

**FREDI GONZALEZ

On the Braves’ 10th-inning failure to score

“They walk Freeman, and you feel comfortable with Gerald there. He smoked a ball right at Tejada and they turn two.”

On sticking with Gerald instead of pinch-hitting McCann

“I feel comfortable that Gerald’s going to give you a great at-bat. He’s shown that since he’s been here from the beginning, and (if you bring in McCann) you’re going to pinch-hit for a guy who’s been in the game, who’s warm, who’s swinging it, for a guy who’s been sitting around for three hours. But again, I felt really good about that situation with Gerald at the plate.”

On Schafer, after being hit in right ankle by foul ball

“He’s fine. We pinch-hit for him with Reed (Johnson) against a left-hander with men in scoring position. He had X-rays and they were negative.”

On not scoring when had runners at second and third with none out in second

“We had an opportunity to get ahead, and we didn’t do that. Usually when those situations go by and you don’t take advantage, we’ll be sitting thinking about it tonight, three hours later, thinking about how we didn’t score any runs.”

On Minor not giving up much after the two-run first inning

“He did a nice job. They got a solo home run by Gordon, and then he had a couple of innings that were stressful innings, but he did a nice job. His last two innings might have been the best two innings he threw today.”

On bringing in the rookie Wood to pitch the 10th, was he the guy because of matchups (lefty vs. lefty)?

“Obviously you feel pretty good about him. Brought him in in the 10th inning of a tie game to face the left-handers, to face Gordon and the other guys. And those guys beat you. They executed a bunt, and then you’re facing Gordon with a runner on second base and Escobar on deck. You know, at least he didn’t walk anybody. That’s always good for a kid to go in that situation, 10th inning, and throw the ball over the plate.”

Wood in 10th have anything to do with having Wood for multiple innings?

“We were going to try to get those lefties with Woody, and we had Varvaro up for the right-handers coming up. But it had nothing to do with him throwing multiple innings. We were just trying to get through this inning and see what happens in the top of the 11th, maybe we get a couple of runs and go to Kimbrel, and don’t have to worry about multiple innings. We’ve got Carpenter down there and Varvaro down there who can give you multiple innings.”

On Schafer’s first-inning throw

“He made a helluva throw. You had Butler running, but I didn’t think (Schafer) had a chance. He made a nice, strong throw. It really surprised me. I know he can throw, but he made that play really interesting.”

On Pena’s decision

“Pena’s going to have surgery on his right shoulder. He’s going to have it tomorrow. Torn labrum.”

“My experience with those things, it takes a long time.”

On overcoming Pena’s absence

“Every team is going to have injuries. The team that can survive those injuries is going to be there at the end. It’s an injury that (eliminates) some versatility, especially in a National League game, off the bench and pinch-hitting. But we have plenty of candidates that you feel comfortable could do that job.”

**MIKE MINOR

On feeling better than in his previous two starts

“I felt like I was making good pitches again. There’s three runs on the board, but I feel like they only hit two balls hard. I broke a couple of bats and there were a couple of seeing-eye singles, so I felt like I was throwing the ball pretty well.”

“Mustakas hit that ball where the shortstop normally plays, but he’s a pull guy so we were playing him up the middle. Threw a hanging curveball to Alex Gordon, the (single) to left field. I broke Butler’s bat on a changeup on a (hit) to right. So there were a number of pitches that were decent pitches, that fell in (for hits).”

On Schafer’s throw to the plate in first

“It was a good throw. That’s always a tough play.”

On team struggling on the road

“I don’t know if it’s that we’re home or away. It just seems like that right now. Tonight we put some runs on the board, helped me out and tied it up.

“But yeah, so far this year it’s just been one of those years where it’s tougher on the road that at home.”

**GERALD LAIRD

On Minor

“Early on I thought we just weren’t making pitches. He just made a few mistakes. But other than that, after three innings I thought he settled in really well and had good stuff the last couple of innings, turned it into a pretty good start.”

On grounding into double play on first pitch

“He’s got good stuff, got the good sliderand obviously wants to get ahead. I tried to take advantage, knowing he’s going to try to get ahead. I hit the ball pretty hard, just right at him. Needed to get it up a little bit or if I get it a little bit to the right or left, it probably obviously gets through. Just the way it goes. I just tried to jump on him early and hit it right at him.”

Tough way to end trip

“Oh, yeah, because we battled back tonight. Mikey kept us in the game and threw a good game, and we gave ourselves some scoring opportunities and were able to get back in the game and tie it. That’s a tough bullpen over there. You can see the stuff they’re throwing out there. But we battled. Gave ourselves a chance right there at the end, and just couldn’t get that one hit.”

On Schafer’s throw to plate that Laird didn’t catch

“It was one of those where I tried to smother it and then reach over and tag him, and I think it just went right under my glove in between my legs. That’s a play that I’ve made tons of times. Just that one time when you want to make it, it doesn’t go your way. I saw where he was at. I was just trying to make sure I short-hopped it and was able to get over there and tag him. I think maybe I thought I didn’t have as much time as I had, and it just kind of went through my legs.”

On team’s road woes

“We’ve definitely got to step it up on the road, because you aren’t going to win in the playoffs if you can’t win games on the road. You’ve got to be able to go on the road, especially with the talent we have on this team. I mean, we’re too good a team to play like we do on the road. It’s just one of those things where I look at the road record, it could be a lot better. We give ourselves opportunities, but it just seems like maybe we’ve got to bring a little more energy and try to get after it a little more, because this team is way too talented to play like we do on the road.”

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