Gomes has 4 RBIs, Braves beat Blue Jays 5-2
TORONTO (AP) Atlanta's Shelby Miller has added to his arsenal since shutting out the Blue Jays last season.
He didn't blank them again Sunday, but he did beat them again.
Jonny Gomes drove in four runs to back Miller (2-0), and the Atlanta Braves defeated the Toronto Blue Jays 5-2.
''He did a nice job, gave us the innings we needed,'' Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said of Miller.
Miller pitched a three-hit shutout against Toronto for St. Louis last June, his only prior start against Toronto.
''I was kind of a little bit of a different pitcher then,'' Miller said. ''I didn't have the cutter or the sinker that much.''
The cutter, a pitch he has focused on refining this season, featured more prominently.
''It's more of a feel, pitch, a confidence pitch,'' Miller said. ''You've just got to have confidence in it and throw it and let it do what it does. That's a pitch that'll help but it's still got a lot of room to grow.''
This time, Miller kept the Blue Jays scoreless through five before Russell Martin's two-out, two-run double in the sixth. Miller gave up two runs and five hits in six innings, raising his ERA from 0.90 to 1.69.
''You'll take both of those outings against the Blue Jays at home,'' Miller said. ''You're coming into their home field, where they hit great. Coming out with a win is a positive thing.''
Andrew McKirahan got two outs in the seventh, Cody Martin pitched 1 1-3 innings, and Jason Grilli finished to remain perfect in six save chances.
Gomes hit a three-run double in the first off rookie Daniel Norris (1-1) and added a sacrifice fly in the third as the Braves took two of three from Toronto.
''That's what he gets paid for, is to hit left-handers,'' Gonzalez said.
Toronto has lost five of the first seven games on its opening homestand.
Gomes' two-out, bases-loaded double in the first ticked off the glove of rookie center fielder Dalton Pompey, who fell down on the play and appeared to have trouble tracking the ball.
Pompey acknowledged he has been ''playing somewhat scared'' all season out of fear of making a mistake.
''We lose that game because I don't make that play, and I take full responsibility for that,'' Pompey said.
Pompey was guilty of another mistake as Atlanta made it 5-0 in the third. Freddie Freeman walked, Chris Johnson singled to center and Freeman scored on Pompey's throwing error. Johnson took third on the throw and scored on Gomes' fly ball to left.
Norris allowed all five runs - four earned - and six hits in 2 2-3 innings.
''I'm going through a little bit of a dead arm phase,'' Norris said.
Freeman and Nick Markakis combined to go 12 for 20 in the three-game series, scoring nine of Atlanta's 18 runs. ''That's what we need from those guys,'' Gonzalez said. ''That's why they hit three and four.''
WALK THIS WAY
Toronto's Jose Bautista drew his 10th and 11th walks of the season, passing Tampa Bay's Evan Longoria (9) for the AL lead. New York Mets outfielder Curtis Granderson (12) is the major league leader.
Blue Jays: Rookie 2B Devon Travis left in the first inning after being hit in the left ribs by a pitch, then aggravating the injury when he went back to first base on a pickoff attempt. X-rays were negative. Steve Tolleson replaced Travis. Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said he hoped Travis would be able to return after Monday's off day.
Braves: Atlanta is off Monday before a three-game series in New York starting on Tuesday against the Mets. Braves RHP Trevor Cahill faces LHP Jon Niese (1-0) in the opener. Cahill is 0-1 with a 4.00 in two career starts against the Mets.
Blue Jays: Toronto is off Monday before opening a three-game series against Baltimore. Blue Jays LHP Mark Buehrle (2-0) faces RHP Bud Norris (0-1) in the opener. Buehrle beat Baltimore on April 10 for his 200th win.