Minor, Beachy, or Lopez?

The fifth starter's competition got off and running Sunday.

There are three pitchers going for the fifth starter's job in the Atlanta rotation, and all three pitched on Sunday against the Mets.

Mike Minor and Rodrigo Lopez each pitched two scoreless innings. Minor retired all six batters he faced, while Lopez allowed one hit, one walk and had one strikeout.

Brandon Beachy allowed two runs on three hits in two innings.

Minor is probably the favorite for the job, since he is the only lefty that could start for Atlanta. But don't discount Lopez, the veteran signed in mid-January as insurance in case Minor or Beachy prove they need more time in Triple-A.

The Braves are going to try and get each pitcher plenty of innings this spring to show who deserves the job, but in the first test Minor and Lopez did well on Sunday afternoon.

Bill Shanks hosts The Bill Shanks Show on WPLA Fox Sports 1670 in Macon, GA and The Atlanta Baseball Talk Show. Shanks writes columns for The Macon Telegraph. Email Bill at thebillshanksshow@yahoo.com and follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/billshanks.

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