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Minor finds trouble in Braves' loss to Mets

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — Mike Minor didn’t end Grapefruit League play with the kind of outing that builds confidence going into the regular season.

Minor allowed three home runs and was charged with three wild pitches while allowing five runs over five innings in the Braves’ 7-4 loss to the New York Mets on Monday.

Jason Heyward and Justin Upton hit back-to-back homers for the Braves in the seventh inning. It was the fourth homer of the spring for Heyward, who also had a single, and the sixth for Upton.

The game was the next-to-last of the spring for the Braves (18-14) at Champion Stadium. They will play two of their final three Grapefruit League games on the road before a day off on Friday and an exhibition game at Class AA Mississippi on Saturday.

Minor, who will start the fourth game of the regular season for the Braves against the Chicago Cubs on April 5, finished the Grapefruit League with a 6.26 ERA in six starts.

The left-hander gave up a home run in each of the first three innings, all to little-known players. Andrew Brown, Jamie Hoffmann and Collin Cowgill took Minor deep, with Brown’s homer a two-run shot.

Minor allowed six hits, walked two and struck out three. He threw 87 pitches, 53 of them strikes.

Mets starter Dillon Gee limited the Braves to two hits over six scoreless innings. He struck out seven and walked none.

The Braves scored twice in the ninth inning, with Juan Francisco driving in one of the runs with a double.

Braves closer Craig Kimbrel pitched a perfect eighth inning, striking out one.

Tim Hudson, the Braves’ opening night starter against Philadelphia next Monday, will pitch Tuesday against Detroit in Lakeland.