Minor effective while working out of trouble

TAMPA, Fla. -- Mike Minor was far from perfect as he completed four scoreless innings in Saturday's 2-1 win over the Yankees at George M. Steinbrenner Field. But the Braves left-hander showed poise as he scattered three singles and pitched around two defensive miscues.

"I know I need to work on things," Minor said. "I felt like I left on a good note today. I felt like I had a better last inning than all of the other innings. It just felt better to me."

Minor pitched around leadoff singles in the first two innings and proved fortunate when Juan Rivera lined into a double play with two on and one out in the third inning. He retired each of the final three batters he faced after Jayson Nix reached second base to open the bottom of the fourth on a wind-blown fly ball that fell between Dan Uggla and Chris Johnson behind first base.

"It was good just to work out of things," Minor said. "There were a couple of balls that landed in nowhere land."

Minor, who posted a 2.21 ERA in his final 15 starts last year, has worked eight consecutive scoreless innings since allowing two runs in the first inning of his exhibition season debut against the Nationals on Feb. 26.

"I feel like my slider and curveball are way ahead of where they were last year at this time," Minor said. "I feel like they are almost at the same point they were at the end of last year."

Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.