Braves demote Jurrjens to minors

The Atlanta Braves have optioned struggling pitcher Jair Jurrjens to Triple-A Gwinnett after the 2011 All-Star lasted only three-plus innings in a loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Jurrjens, who led the Braves with 13 wins last season despite two trips to the disabled list, is 0-2 with a 9.37 ERA in four starts. He retired only seven of the 17 Dodgers he faced Monday night, including opposing pitcher Chris Capuano on a sacrifice bunt, and was charged with five runs on nine hits in a 7-2 loss.

It was the first time Jurrjens failed to record a strikeout in 42 starts since April 29, 2010, at St. Louis, when he departed after one inning with a strained left hamstring.

”He lives off strike one, and they didn’t let us get that,” batterymate David Ross said. ”They attacked his pitches and they didn’t let him get ahead in the count. They had a real good game plan against him and they had a lot of balls that fell in. But I don’t think he’s where he wants to be yet. I caught him his last outing and I thought he was a lot better tonight, as far as locating pitches. He’s still searching to find it.”

The team will make a corresponding roster move Tuesday.