Jair Jurrjens saw his awful start get even late Monday night. After pitching a season-low three-plus innings and taking a loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Atlanta Braves optioned him to Triple-A Gwinnett.
Jurrjens gave up five runs on nine hits in three-plus innings in the 7-2 loss. The fifty pitch excursion seemed doomed from the beginning.
Three of the first four batters Jurrjens faced reached safely, including an RBI-single from Andre Ethier. He got out of that jam with an inning-ending double play. The double play and a perfect third inning were the only bright spots for his night.
His second inning saw James Loney lead off with a double, which was followed by Juan Uribe and A.J. Ellis recording RBI-singles.
Jurrjens saw his night mercifully end after giving up three straight singles to Loney, Uribe and Ellis to start the fourth inning before yielding to Livan Hernandez, who put out a more than solid relief appearance of two runs over 4 1/3 innings.
"We optioned Jair tonight to give him a chance to work through his difficulties at the Triple-A level and hopefully come back ready to help us contend," general manager Frank Wren said. "He is not having any health or injury issues, just needs to get back on track pitching wise."
Jurrjens also seemed determined to turn things around, at least before he got the bad news.
"I'm going through a bad stretch," Jurrjens said. "I'm going to keep my head up and keep fighting and bounce back."
The five runs the Dodgers managed to get off Jurrjens were more than enough cushion for Chris Capuano, who threw a two-hit shutout against the Braves while with the New York Mets on Aug. 26 that seemed to start their September collapse.
It seemed the Braves would be able to blow the game open in the first inning when Capuano threw 27 pitches but got out of a bases loaded jam unscathed by striking out Jason Heyward. After giving up a leadoff home run to David Ross to start the second, Capuano only allowed four more hits over his seven innings.
The only other run scored by Atlanta was via a Dan Uggla homer in the eighth, his third of the year.
With Tim Hudson returning Sunday or Monday, the Braves will probably pitch Randall Delgado on Saturday against the Pittsburgh Pirates. On a normal rotation schedule, Hudson would pitch on Sunday after one last rehab start at Triple-A Gwinnett.
In a 10:10 start, Mike Minor will look to continue his success from Arizona and even the series opposite Aaron Harang.
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