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ATL@COL: Minor strikes out five over six solid frames

Saturday's middle game between the Tigers and Braves lacked the pitching dominance put on display Friday by Detroit's Anibal Sanchez.

In Sunday's finale, however, both starters have proven to have the stuff to turn in a memorable pitching duel.

Atlanta left-hander Mike Minor and Detroit's Doug Fister square off in the final game of a three-game series at Comerica Park, with the Braves looking to avoid a sweep.

Minor, 25, has been one of the league's top starters through the first month, going 3-1 with a 1.80 ERA. The lefty allowed a season-high three runs in his last outing in chilly Denver while dealing with 20-degree temperatures.

"I just pretty much battled through it," Minor said of his start. "A lot of changeups, curveballs. Whatever I could do to get some outs."

Getting outs has been the theme of Minor's season, as well as Fister's. The Tigers righty has a 2.00 ERA through his first four starts, the last three of which have been of the quality variety.

Fister allowed three unearned runs in his last outing against the Angels, not factoring in the decision in his only non-victory of the season.

Braves: Justin Upton near all-time April mark
With 12 home runs, left fielder Justin Upton is two shy of tying the all-time record for most home runs in April, held by Albert Pujols (2006) and Alex Rodriguez ('07).

• Third baseman Chris Johnson has seven multi-hit efforts in his last 14 games, a stretch in which he's batting .415.

• Closer Craig Kimbrel is three saves shy of 100 for his career.

• The Braves have dropped seven of their last 10 since their 12-1 start.

Tigers: Leyland monitoring Hunter
Torii Hunter has been on a tear in his first month as a Tiger, posting 13 multi-hit efforts and batting .380. Manager Jim Leyland said he will continue to monitor the 37-year-old, who has started in 20 of Detroit's 22 games while appearing in another.

"I have to watch him," Leyland said, "but he's really doing well. And we did have back-to-back days off [with the rainout Tuesday], so that helps. But I have to watch him. It's not easy in the cold weather for anybody, let alone one of our elder statesmen. I have to watch him and not get greedy."

• Third baseman Miguel Cabrera has an 11-game hitting streak during which he's batting .413.

Worth noting
• Detroit's Omar Infante (4-for-12) and Prince Fielder (3-for-3) are the only Tigers who have faced Minor.

• Atlanta's B.J. Upton is 0-for-5 against Fister.

• Saturday marked Atlanta's first loss in a game in which it homered.

• Sunday is Atlanta's final game in a stretch of playing 16 of 18 on the road.

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