ATLANTA — Ramiro Pena drove in four runs with three hits, including a run-scoring single in the sixth that gave Atlanta the lead, Mike Minor pitched seven strong innings and the Braves’ makeshift lineup had 16 hits in an 11-3 win over R.A. Dickey and the Toronto Blue Jays on Thursday night.
Freddie Freeman and Reed Johnson homered and Evan Gattis had three hits. Jordan Schafer added a two-run single in the sixth.
Pena, Schafer and Gattis made the most of fill-in starts as Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez rested three regulars hitting below .200: outfielders B.J. Upton and Jason Heyward and second baseman Dan Uggla.
Minor (7-2) gave up six hits and three runs — two earned — with five strikeouts and no walks in winning his fourth straight decision.
Dickey (4-7) allowed 11 hits and six runs in six innings.
It was Dickey’s fourth start allowing six or more runs this season, leaving his ERA at 5.18.
The Blue Jays scored three runs in the sixth to pull even at 3, but the Braves scored three runs off Dickey in the bottom of the inning. Pena’s infield single drove in Gattis, who led off with a single. Schafer singled with two outs to drive in Chris Johnson, who reached on a fielder’s choice grounder, and Pena.
One day after a 3-0 loss to the Blue Jays, the Braves made some lineup changes. Third baseman Juan Francisco, who was sharing time with Chris Johnson, was designated for assignment. Francisco was hitting .241 with five homers, 16 RBIs and 43 strikeouts in 108 at-bats.
The Braves have 10 days to trade, release or send Francisco outright to the minors.
Schafer, who hit leadoff and started in center field for Upton, had a first-inning double that bounced over third baseman Mark DeRosa. Schafer scored on Andrelton Simmons’ single to left.
Gattis, starting in left field, led off the second by slapping a single to right field. Gattis scored on a single to left by Pena, who started for Uggla.
Gonzalez didn’t say if he was holding out Upton, Uggla and Heyward for only one night.
“I suspect those guys are upset and that’s good to see also,” Gonzalez said. “You don’t want a guy who’s happy about not playing. ... In the long run, those guys that are not playing tonight, we’ll win a championship with those guys.”
Heyward, pinch-hitting in the seventh, reached on catcher’s interference when his bat hit J.P. Arencibia’s glove.
Freeman pushed the lead to 3-0 in the third with his two-out homer off Dickey. The homer came on the night fans received Freeman bobblehead dolls.
Toronto pulled even in the sixth. Dickey led off with an infield single and moved to second when Simmons misplayed Jose Bautista’s grounder for an error. Edwin Encarnacion drove in Dickey with a single to center field and DeRosa added a two-run double to right field.
Reed Johnson hit a pinch-hit, two-run homer off Todd Redmond in the eighth.
NOTES: The Braves selected the contract of LHP Alex Wood from Double-A Mississippi. Wood, a 2012 second-round pick from the University of Georgia, pitched the ninth, allowing one hit, in his major league debut. ... Atlanta improved to 22-3 when scoring first. ... The Braves open a series against NL East rival Washington on Friday night when Julio Teheran faces Nationals ace Stephen Strasburg. The Blue Jays’ seven-game road trip continues at San Diego, when Chad Jenkins will face Padres RHP Jason Marquis.