What's buzzing:

Big League Stew

Mike Minor loses no-hitter in eighth, gets no-decision in Braves extra-inning win

Mark Townsend
Big League Stew

A video or other embedded content has been hidden. Click here to view it.

So close to history, so far from a victory. That seems to be the theme of the week for starting pitchers. 

One day after David Price pitched a complete game one-hitter and lost in his return to Tampa Bay, Atlanta Braves left-hander Mike Minor came dangerously close to suffering the same fate in Cincinnati, but ended up settling for a no-decision in Atlanta's eventual 3-1, 12-inning victory over the Reds.

Minor was four outs away from pitching the 15th no-hitter in Braves franchise history — fourth since moving to Atlanta — when Billy Hamilton delivered a soft single to center field, just beyond the reach of shortstop Andrelton Simmons. Zack Cosart, who walked earlier in the inning and advanced on Chris Heisey's groundout, raced around third to break up the shutout and tie the score at one. 

Just that fast, Minor was one hit away from being on the hook after being on the brink of history. 

View photo

(Getty Images)

(Getty Images)

At that point, Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez wasn't taking any chances. Minor had been lights out, but he'd also walked four and was showing signs of fatigue after 107 pitches, so Gonzalez signaled to his bullpen, ending Minor's fantastic night.

One more highlight would come, however. As Minor walked off the field, he received a very nice ovation from the fans in Cincinnati. 

After Jordan Walden escaped the inning with the game still tied, the Braves would finally pull ahead for good on Justin Upton's two-run homer in the 12th. Craig Kimbrel wrapped up the win with his 38th save. 

It might not be fair to compare the Price and Minor outings pitch-for-pitch. Though they nearly ended with the same place in history, they took two entirely different paths. Price allowed a hit and an unearned run in the first inning, before settling in and retiring 23 straight right through the finish line. Minor walked four, allowed an earned run and didn't get through the eighth. Still, there were enough similarities that you're left shaking your head that neither guy walked away with a win. 

A win probably would have felt especially good for Minor, too. After pitching like an ace in 2013, the 26-year-old lefty has yet to get on track this season, posting a 5.16 ERA in his first 19 starts. Complications from urinary tract surgery during the offseason and shoulder soreness in spring training are the likely culprits for his disappointing campaign, but the Braves could use having him at full capacity. 

He was showing promise in his previous two outings, allowing five runs in 13 2/3 innings. Perhaps this start will serve as the proclamation that he is, in fact, coming around.

''Just three weeks ago, I felt like I couldn't get anybody out,'' Minor said. ''I felt more focused, but I've felt like that the last three games.''

It was certainly interesting to watch as he weaved his way through Cincinnati's struggling offense. He doesn't throw hard — his fastball on Friday topped out at 90 mph — so he has to find ways to keep hitters off balance. He did so effectively with his change up and curveball on Friday, which allowed him to become the first visiting pitcher to take a no-hitter beyond the seventh inning at the Great American Ballpark.

The Braves will hope it's a good sign, but pitchers are only as good as their next outing. If it's another step in the right direction, Atlanta's already deep and effective rotation may have its ace back. 

More MLB coverage from Yahoo Sports:

- - - - - - -

Mark Townsend is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at bigleaguestew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

View Comments (0)
  • Germany will hit top form in crucial qualifiers, says Loew

    Germany will hit top form in crucial qualifiers, says Loew

    World Cup winners Germany will be at their best when they take on Euro 2016 qualifying rivals Poland, Scotland and Ireland later this year after their current period of experimentation, coach Joachim Loew has said. While easing past the Georgians … More »

    Reuters - 3 minutes 33 seconds ago
  • Ecclestone proposes championship for women

    Ecclestone proposes championship for women

    Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone has proposed a controversial world championship for women drivers as part of grand prix weekends. "I thought it would be a good idea to give them a showcase," British media quoted the 84-year-old as saying … More »

    Reuters - 9 minutes ago
  • Matic shines on another gloomy night for Serbia

    Matic shines on another gloomy night for Serbia

    By Zoran Milosavljevic BELGRADE (Reuters) - A 2-1 defeat by Portugal has left Serbia with only a slim hope of reaching Euro 2016 after Nemanja Matic provided the only beacon of light in another lacklustre qualifying performance by the Balkan … More »

    Reuters - 22 minutes ago
  • Joint leaders of Volvo Ocean Race quit with broken mast

    The joint leaders of the Volvo Ocean Race, Dongfeng Race Team, were forced to quit the fifth leg early Monday when their mast broke in the Southern Ocean. The incident could hardly have happened in a worse spot for the Chinese boat, 240 nautical … More »

    AP - Sports - 1 hour 19 minutes ago
  • Reus, Mueller on target as Germany ease past Georgia

    Reus, Mueller on target as Germany ease past Georgia

    TBILISI (Reuters) - World Cup winners Germany eased past hosts Georgia 2-0 in their Euro 2016 qualifier on Sunday with first-half goals from Marco Reus and Thomas Mueller enough to get their Group D campaign back on track. Reus put the visitors … More »

    Reuters - 1 hour 51 minutes ago