By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Braves notebook: Bats bail out Jurrjens
Placeholder Image

ATLANTA — When the Braves gave Jair Jurrjens a 3-0 lead in the fourth inning, he began thinking of trying to pitch deep into the game to give Atlanta’s bullpen a break.

Instead, the right-hander couldn’t hold the lead.

The starting pitcher gave up three runs with two outs in the fifth but had the support of Atlanta’s bats to earn his second straight win in Sunday’s 8-5 win over the Washington Nationals.

"When they give you a lead like that, you’re supposed to cruise and help the bullpen out," Jurrjens said. "You want to have a quick inning."

Jurrjens gave up five hits and four runs in 5À innings. Only three runs were earned. He had only one strikeout and walked five.

"When your team has a big inning you want to come in there and just go 1-2-3, but I tried to be too fine," he said. "I got in some trouble.

"I just tried to be too fine, too perfect. I was just missing. My pitches were just floating in the strike zone. They didn’t have the bite I wanted them to. I was falling behind."

The Braves regained the lead in the bottom of the fifth.

Jurrjens pitched 5-2/3 scoreless innings in a 4-0 win at Philadelphia on Tuesday and has a 2.45 ERA even after giving up three earned runs on Sunday.

Jurrjens was 13-10 with a 3.68 ERA and finished third in the NL Rookie of the Year voting last season. He led Atlanta in wins, starts (31), innings (188 1-3) and strikeouts (139).

More pain for Chipper

Chipper Jones, who missed one game Wednesday at Philadelphia with a bruised left thumb, had the thumb wrapped after Sunday’s game. He said he aggravated the injury in his last at-bat.

Jones said he hurt the thumb "pretty good" but said he hopes to be ready for the Braves’ next game on Tuesday. The Braves are off on Monday.

"Good thing we have a day off tomorrow," he said. "I can ice it and rub it down, take some anti-inflammatories, hopefully get some of the swelling out of there. I’ll see how it feels on Tuesday."

Jones, who was 2-for-3 with two RBIs, has a five-game hitting streak and is hitting .400.

Ross bound for Rome

Catcher David Ross, who opened the season on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right groin, is scheduled to report to Class A Rome on Tuesday for an injury rehab assignment.

Ross, who was placed on the disabled list retroactive to April 1, is eligible to be activated on Thursday.

Clint Sammons opened the season as the backup catcher behind Brian McCann but has not appeared in a game.

Leading off

Kelly Johnson was given a rest from starting, a plan manager Bobby Cox said he made before Johnson was hit in his right side by a pitch in his final at-bat on Saturday night. Omar Infante filled in at second base and was 2-for-3 and scored two runs as the leadoff hitter.

Johnson flied out to center field as a pinch-hitter in the eighth.

Cox also gave first baseman Casey Kotchman a day off from starting.

Martin Prado made his first start at first base. The versatile Prado started 14 games at first base last season. He also started at third base, second base, shortstop and left field.

Prado was 1-for-3 and drove in a run.

Kotchman delivered a pinch-hit run-scoring single in the eighth.

Worth noting

The Braves completed their first series sweep of Washington since June 25-27, 2007, also at Turner Field. ... Jeff Francoeur had two triples in the game for the first time in his career. "I’ll never do that again," Francoeur said. The last Braves player to hit two triples in a game was Willie Harris, now with Washington, on July 21, 2007 against St. Louis.