Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said he was enthused with the early results.
Minor gave up three runs, Chris Johnson and Ryan Doumit each drove in two runs during Atlanta’s six-run third inning and the Braves beat Eric Stults and the San Diego Padres 8-3 on Sunday.
“I thought it was better than a quality start,” Gonzalez said after Minor allowed eight hits in 6 2-3 innings. “It was outstanding and we’ll go from there.”
“I think the thing that was really, really visible was that his arm action and his delivery was there, I’m not going to say every pitch, but 90 percent of the time. He was able to command his fastball on both sides of the plate and that was because of his delivery.”
Though far less than dominant, the start was an improvement after Minor (4-6) gave up six runs in each of his last two outings. He had allowed at least four runs in four of his last five starts.
“There are some mechanical things that we focused on,” Minor said. “There are some different things I’ve been doing this year. We looked at film of last year and we found three big things I was doing different this year. We tried to change them but I think it’s going to take time. I feel like it’s going to be hard to do it right in the middle of the season, so it’s going to be something that I will slowly adjust.”
Minor was 13-9 with a 3.21 ERA in 2013. His ERA is 5.32 after Sunday’s start.
The Braves trailed 1-0 before roughing up Stults (3-13).
Back-to-back doubles by Gerald Laird and Andrelton Simmons started the inning. Tommy La Stella hit an RBI single that skipped between Stults’ legs, Johnson had a two-run double before Doumit followed with a two-run single.
Yangervis Solarte led off the third with his first homer since his trade from the Yankees on Tuesday. Minor didn’t allow another run until Rene Rivera’s eighth homer with two outs in the sixth.
A few thousand fans arrived early to watch the Hall of Fame ceremonies on the Turner Field video board. Among the inductees were former Braves managers Bobby Cox and Joe Torre and pitchers Tom Glavine and Greg Maddux.
Gonzalez delayed optional batting practice so he and Braves players could watch with the fans.
Stults gave up six hits in Atlanta’s big inning and then allowed only one other baserunner on La Stella’s sixth-inning walk. La Stella was caught stealing to end the inning.
“You know, you come to a ballpark, you never know what you’re going to see,” Padres manager Bud Black said. “Eric Stults threw five no-hit innings. And in one inning he gave up six hits.
“Really, he deserved a better fate.”
Stults allowed six runs on six hits and two walks in six innings.
Minor left the game with two outs in the seventh and Denorfia on second base. Tommy Medica hit an RBI single off Anthony Vavaro to cut Atlanta’s lead to 6-3.
Justin Upton hit a two-run double in the Atlanta seventh.
Doumit made his fourth start of the season in right field as Gonzalez rested Jason Heyward. Gonzalez said he’ll give B.J. Upton a day off on Monday when Jordan Schafer starts in center.
After the game, Black announced the team will put outfielder Carlos Quentin on the 15-day disabled list on Monday because of a sore left knee. Second baseman Jedd Gyorko will come off the disabled list.
Gyorko has been out since June 4 with plantar fasciitis in his left foot. Second baseman Brooks Conrad will be optioned to Triple-A El Paso.