ST. LOUIS — Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez was so impressed with Mike Minor that he referenced two of the best pitchers in the National League.
Minor bounced back from the shortest outing of his career with seven strong innings, and Andrelton Simmons homered to help Atlanta salvage the finale of the four-game series with a 5-2 win over the Cardinals on Sunday.
"I felt like I was pounding the zone, hitting more spots," Minor said.
Minor, pitching on seven days' rest after allowing four runs in 12/3 innings against the Nationals on Aug. 17, played a big role in the end of St. Louis' four-game winning streak and prompting his manager to compare him to aces Adam Wainwright of the Cardinals and Clayton Kershaw of the Dodgers.
"He's developing into a big-time deal," Gonzalez said. "The Wainwrights of the world, the Kershaws of the world, they stop losing streaks and extend winning streaks. He's becoming one of those guys."
Minor also beat the Cardinals 4-1 on July 26 to start a 14-game winning streak.
"He was sharp (Sunday), he didn't give us a lot of mistakes to handle," St. Louis manager Mike Matheny said. "And he got out of any kind of jams that he got himself into."