After rough month, prospect Blair solid in return

After rough month, prospect Blair solid in return

ATLANTA -- May has been miserable for the Braves, but they're ending it on a high note with their first consecutive home wins of the season.

"I really feel like this team shows up every day and wants to win," Gordon Beckham said after Atlanta's 7-2 win over the Marlins on Saturday.

Before the Braves sent right-hander Aaron Blair to Triple-A Gwinnett on May 18, he was 0-2 with a 12.60 ERA in three May starts. Though he didn't factor into the decision on Saturday, Blair collected a career-high five strikeouts.

"I had a good feel of the changeup from the beginning," Blair said. "Curveball was there when I needed it. Fastball command was there when I needed it, unlike the last start where everything was up and middle of the plate. Today was a little bit better."

Blair, Atlanta's fourth-ranked prospect according to, recorded only one start and three innings while he was in Gwinnett, spending most of his time working on mechanics.

"I was really just working on my direction," Blair said. "I'd been throwing across my body a lot. I was working more down the hill and getting that late life on the fastball."

The Braves are expected to make a roster move on Sunday to bring up a position player with Erick Aybar on the disabled list, but manager Brian Snitker believes Blair will stay with the club.

"I really wanted to see him today, and after today, I'm really looking forward to seeing his next start," Snitker said.

Beckham, meanwhile, went 2-for-4 with a three-run homer to left-center in the bottom of the seventh to put the game away.

Beckham's three-run shot

"That's what happens when I'm not trying to do too much," Beckham said.

Since he came off the disabled list on May 10, Beckham has hit .333 with 11 RBIs. He credited hitting coach Kevin Seitzer with helping him stick to his approach.

"He's bounced around like he's a teenager," Snitker said of Beckham. "Defensively, he's moving really good and swinging the bat really well right now."

Aimee Sachs is a contributor to based in Atlanta. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.