Johnson powers Braves past Cubs
Chicago, IL (SportsNetwork.com) - Chris Johnson hit a pair of two-run homers and the Atlanta Braves used a six-run fourth inning to take an 11-6 victory over the Chicago Cubs in the middle contest of a three-game set on Saturday.
Justin Upton finished with two hits and four RBI and Andrelton Simmons went 3- for-5 with two runs scored for Atlanta, which entered the game with losses in five of its last six games.
Starter Mike Minor (3-5) homered and earned the win despite giving up six runs on 11 hits over six innings.
"He just battled every inning. Nothing came easy today," said Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez of Minor. "I'm glad that we were able to get our bats going to get him the win."
Chris Coghlan drove in three runs on two doubles and Justin Ruggiano went 3- for-4 with two runs scored and an RBI for the Cubs, who saw their two-game winning streak come to an end.
Edwin Jackson (5-10) was pounded for nine runs on seven hits and four walks in just 3 2/3 frames.
"It was an embarrassing and horrendous game," said Jackson. "It is one of those games to put way back in the back of your memory."
The Cubs wasted no time getting on the board after Ruggiano laced an RBI single to center that plated Arismendy Alcantara, who led off the first with a double. Coghlan drove in another run with a double into the right-field corner, making it a 2-0 game.
Johnson responded with a two-run blast into the seats in left field to even the score in the top of the second.
The Braves went ahead in the third. B.J. Upton doubled on a liner to left and came home on Simmons' single up the middle.
Chicago tied the game in the home half. Welington Castillo's liner deflected off the glove of a leaping B.J. Upton in center field, allowing Ruggiano to score from second.
The Braves used a six-run fourth to take a commanding lead. Johnson crushed a two-run shot to left and Minor helped his own cause by belting a fastball to left for a 6-3 advantage.
Jackson was chased after B.J. Upton and Freddie Freeman both walked and Simmons singled to load the bases with two outs. Carlos Villanueva entered the game and was greeted with a bases-clearing double from Justin Upton.
Alcantara, Ruggiano and Rizzo each singled to load the bases for Chicago in the fifth. After Starlin Castro struck out, Alcantara scored on a passed ball by catcher Christian Bethancourt. Coghlan's double to right brought around Ruggiano and Rizzo for a 9-6 game.
Back-to-back RBI singles from Justin Upton and Heyward in the ninth accounted for the final score.
Minor earned his first win since May 19 and hit his second career home run. The first came against the Mets on May 25, 2013 ... Jackson, who surpassed 1,200 career strikeouts during his start, is now 0-4 lifetime in nine games (seven starts) against the Braves ... Atlanta leads the season series, 4-1.
07/12 21:39:13 ET