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Another start rained out for Jurrjens
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KISSIMMEE, Fla. — Jair Jurrjens hasn’t had much luck with the weather this spring, but the Atlanta Braves right-hander is still on track to make his first regular-season start April 7 against the Chicago Cubs.

Jurrjens fell victim to the rain again Sunday, which washed out Atlanta’s scheduled game against the St. Louis Cardinals. He’ll get his work in during a minor league game Monday as he continues in catch-up mode after reporting to spring training with a sore shoulder.

A 14-game winner in 2009, Jurrjens was held out of the canceled game because of the weather, as was scheduled Cardinals starter Brad Penny. The teams ended up making it into the second inning despite the rain before play was stopped.

“I wanted to pitch today, but it’s not a problem,” Jurrjens said. “My shoulder feels good now, so I’m OK. I’ll get my work in.”

Jurrjens, who ranked third in the NL with a 2.60 ERA in 2009, didn’t take the mound for the first time until March 12 because of shoulder inflammation — and that game was also called because of rain. But he was able to get in two innings, allowing just one hit before the game was called.

“Don’t blame me for the weather being bad,” Jurrjens said. “It’s not my fault.”

At least it didn’t rain on the day of one of Jurrjens’ scheduled starts. He got in three innings against Florida on March 16, although he gave up five hits and three runs.

“He missed a couple weeks because of his shoulder, but he’ll be ready to go,” Braves manager Bobby Cox said. “The big thing was to not get him out there today and have the game stopped like it was.”

Atlanta is off on Monday, but there are two minor league games for Jurrjens to choose from at the team’s complex. After that he’ll have two more spring starts to get ready for the season.

“That’s plenty,” Cox said.

Sunday’s game was stopped with St. Louis ahead 1-0 in the second.

NOTES: His spring average down to .029, Braves OF Nate McLouth tried to get back on track by taking six at-bats in a minor league game moved to Sunday morning because of the threatening weather. McLouth is mired in a 1 for 35 funk with 14 strikeouts. ... Atlanta optioned LHP Mike Dunn, acquired from the Yankees as part of the Javier Vazquez trade, to Triple-A Gwinnett along with RHP Jeff Lyman. ... OFs Mitch Jones and Brent Clevlen, P Mariano Gomez and C Orlando Mercado were sent to minor league camp after being non-roster spring invitees.
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