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SEA@ATL: Minor whiffs 10, allows one run over seven

Braves left-hander Mike Minor will make his third career start at Coors Field on Tuesday against the Rockies.

In his first two outings in the hitter-friendly ballpark, Minor -- who will oppose Colorado right-hander Juan Nicasio -- was split in his performances.

In May 2012, his debut at Coors, Minor was lit up for eight earned runs on 10 hits, including two home runs, over five innings, though the Braves went on to win. He fared better in his most recent start, in April 2013, when he held the Rockies to three earned runs on five hits over six innings and didn't surrender a home run. The Braves won that one as well.

"I don't think it lives up to all of the hype of breaking balls not breaking, and every ball they hit in the air [going] over the fence," Minor said of Coors Field. "You hear all of those stories, and it's a little bit different. But it's not as much as you think. The ball travels farther, but I haven't seen where the ball doesn't break as much. I think everything plays pretty much the same."

Minor missed the first month of the season because of soreness in his shoulder, not making his first start until May 2. He allowed six home runs over his first five outings but none in his past two, during which he surrendered just one earned run over seven innings.

Meanwhile, Nicasio has struggled mightily in his past two starts. On May 30, at Cleveland, he gave up five earned runs on nine hits over 4 2/3 innings in a 5-2 loss. And in his most recent start, on Thursday, he surrendered seven earned runs on 11 hits, including two home runs, over 5 1/3 innings in a 12-7 loss to the D-backs.

He is 1-2 with a 6.75 ERA in his past three outings.

Rockies: Outfield beset by injuries
The Rockies, already without the services of Carlos Gonzalez -- who will undergo exploratory surgery on his injured left index finger on Tuesday -- placed Michael Cuddyer on the disabled list prior to Monday's game, and afterward announced that the 2013 National League batting champion will miss six to eight weeks with a non-displaced fracture in his shoulder socket.

"It's something that as a professional team we have to push through," said Cuddyer. "Nobody in the league is going to feel sorry for us."

Braves: Walden's return to provide relief for bullpen
Right-handed setup man Jordan Walden will return for Tuesday's game against the Rockies after missing five weeks with a strained left hamstring.

Before sustaining the injury on May 4, Walden compiled a 1.59 ERA and .171 opponents' batting average while striking out 39 percent of the batters he faced in 13 appearances. But with reliever Jonny Venters still sidelined because of an elbow injury, the Braves struggled to find a quality replacement for Walden during the past month. 

"It's always nice to have a guy like Walden come back, especially with the ability that he brings and what he brings to the table," said right-handed reliever David Carpenter, who posted a 5.68 ERA during Walden's absence. "We were just trying to piece things together after he went down. To get a guy like that back is definitely a good feeling."

Worth noting
• Entering the series opener against the Rockies, Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman had a .349 batting average, a 1.163 OPS with four home runs in 10 games at Coors Field. He went 0-for-4 with a run scored in Monday's 3-1 victory.

• The Rockies promoted right-hander Chad Bettis from Triple-A Colorado Springs on Monday. Bettis was available from the bullpen for the series opener, but he didn't see any action.

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