Jair Jurrjens has not pitched particularly well in Arizona
during his career, but he hasn’t lost there, either. He’s thrown
the ball well everywhere he’s pitched this season for the Atlanta
Braves, and he hasn’t lost anywhere.
Jurrjens looks to remain undefeated on the season and help the
Braves avoid a two-game sweep in Arizona on Thursday night.
Jurrjens (5-0, 1.66 ERA) is two wins shy of matching his total
from last season, when he missed two months with a strained
hamstring. After he opened 2011 on the disabled list with a right
oblique strain, Jurrjens has not allowed more than two earned runs
in six starts.
“He’s been good every outing,” Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez
The right-hander won his fourth straight start Saturday,
retiring the first 17 batters he faced and going on to pitch 7 1-3
innings, giving up two earned runs and three hits in a 5-3 victory
“He’s learning how to pitch,” teammate Chipper Jones told the
Braves’ official website. “He’s throwing two-seamers, four-seamers
and sliders. He’s throwing to both sides of the plate.”
Jurrjens has not been nearly as sharp in two career starts at
Chase Field, surrendering eight earned runs in 11 innings. However,
he’s won both thanks to 21 runs of support from his teammates.
Now, he will try to help the Braves (25-20) bounce back after
their after four-game winning streak was snapped with a 5-4,
11-inning loss at Arizona in Wednesday’s series opener.
Martin Prado singled to extend his hitting streak to 10 games,
but Atlanta could not hold a one-run lead in top of the 11th inning
as Arizona (19-23) scored twice to win its second straight game and
fourth in the last five.
“That’s the whole thing we talk about all the time, trying to do
everything hard and giving 100 percent,” said Diamondbacks third
baseman Ryan Roberts, who scored the winning run on Justin Upton’s
Upton is batting .389 with two home runs and four RBIs in his
last four games.
For Atlanta, Prado is batting .355 with 18 RBIs in his last 21
games. He’ll try to stay hot when the Braves face rookie
right-hander Josh Collmenter (2-0, 0.90) for the first time.
Collmenter, who had allowed two runs in 14 innings over seven
relief appearances, entered the rotation Saturday and limited the
Los Angeles Dodgers to two hits in six innings of a 1-0 victory,
winning his first career start.
“Coming up through the minors as a starter, I always dreamed of
being a starter in the big leagues,” Collmenter said. So I was
excited to get this opportunity and I wanted to make the most of it
when I got out there,” said Collmenter, who replaced the demoted
Barry Enright in Arizona’s rotation.