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ATL@ARI: Minor fans nine over eight strong innings

Mike Minor may be only three starts into the season, but the Braves sure do like what they've seen out of the young left-hander so far.

Shutting down the D-backs in a career-high eight innings on Thursday for the win, Minor will try and keep that momentum going on Tuesday against the Dodgers at Dodger Stadium.

"He's heading in the right direction," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "He's growing up right in front of our eyes. He's maturing and using that changeup, and in 3-2 counts, he's throwing some pretty good breaking pitches."

Showing greater command of his fastball, Minor has been able to mix in his curveball this season, which has helped him in allowing only one earned run in his last 15 1/3 innings.

It'll be up to Dodgers right-hander Aaron Harang to stymie such a streak.

Harang got his first Dodgers win on Thursday against the Brewers, holding Milwaukee to three runs on eight hits in six innings.

Although the righty wasn't overpowering in the start, striking out only four, he kept the Brewers in the ballpark.

That's something Harang will need to do against a Braves team that has won 10 of its last 13 games.

"Both teams are playing well," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. "I'm kind of excited to play them. It's kind of nice to see where you stack up at this point."

Braves: Freeman gets NL Player of Week honors
• After helping the Braves post a 5-1 record last week with a few big games at the plate, first baseman Freddie Freeman was named the National League Player of the Week on Monday.

Freeman hit .478 (11-for-23) -- the third-highest average in the NL on the week -- with 14 RBIs and a 1.087 slugging percentage. He led the NL with 25 total bases, ranked among the leaders in runs scored (seven), hits (11) and on-base percentage (.481) while recording five multi-RBI games.

• Dealing with left knee discomfort that has intensified over the last few days, Braves third baseman Chipper Jones was held out of Monday's game against the Dodgers. However, Jones hopes to be in the lineup as he celebrates his 40th birthday on Tuesday.

"It would be nice, but it's not going to hurt my feelings [if I don't]," Jones said. "The good thing about having Juan [Francisco] is he's provided us some power and some offense. It's not a necessity that I be in there. So I can take my time whenever I am not feeling good."

Dodgers: Ethier deal high on Colletti's list
• General manager Ned Colletti on Monday reiterated earlier comments indicating that a contract extension for outfielder Andre Ethier will be a high priority when new ownership takes over next week.

"You know, I've talked to them a little bit about it so it's on the map already," Colletti told SiriusXM Radio. "And when everything gets settled in and people get a chance to think about a lot of different things, that'll be one of the topics we do bring up. I'd love to keep him here. Of course, it takes more than the organization and more than me to get it done. It takes a lot of different people and factions that have a say in it, but hopefully he can be here for a long time."

• Reliever Todd Coffey, placed on the disabled list April 14 with right knee inflammation, threw a simulated game on Monday. Coffey said he expects to pitch in Minor League rehab games Wednesday and Friday, then be activated on Sunday.

Worth noting
• Dodger players Matt Kemp, Clayton Kershaw and Josh Lindblom, along with Dodgers legend Maury Wills, will join Bank of America to help Habitat for Humanity of Greater Los Angeles rehabilitate a dilapidated home in Lynwood on Tuesday. It will be the Dodgers' second Habitat build this year, as Dodger players helped rebuild a different Lynwood home as part of the team's 2012 Community Caravan.

• Braves shortstop Tyler Pastornicky was out of the starting lineup for the third consecutive game on Monday. However, he did pinch-hit in the ninth inning for pitcher Chad Durbin, striking out. Gonzalez expects Pastornicky to start the final two games of the Dodgers series.

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