Rockies-Braves Preview

Jair Jurrjens may not get the start at next week’s Midsummer

Classic, but the Atlanta Braves right-hander is well-deserving of

his first All-Star nod.

Coming off his first shutout, Jurrjens looks to become the NL’s

first 12-game winner Wednesday night when the surging Braves

continue their series against the visiting Colorado Rockies.

Selected on Sunday to the NL squad, Jurrjens (11-3, 1.89 ERA) is

thrilled to get the chance to compete with the game’s elite in

Tuesday’s All-Star Game.

“It would be an honor to be in the same locker room with the

best of the best in this league,” he told the Braves’ official


NL manager Bruce Bochy could start Philadelphia’s Cliff Lee or

Roy Halladay, but Jurrjens would also be a solid choice. The

right-hander, who leads the NL in ERA and is tied for the lead in

victories, tossed a one-hitter with a season-high eight strikeouts

Friday in a 4-0 victory over Baltimore.

“Outstanding,” Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. “It was one

of his best performances of the season so far. He’s been the most

consistent pitcher we’ve had, and today was no different.”

Jurrjens, the first Brave to post 11 wins in his first 15 starts

since Tom Glavine in 2002, is 4-1 with a 4.02 ERA in seven starts

against Colorado.

It’s uncertain if he’ll face Carlos Gonzalez (bruised right

wrist) or Troy Tulowitzki (right quadriceps tightness). Both missed

Tuesday’s 5-2 loss as the Rockies (41-45) fell for the 21st time in

27 games at Turner Field.

“I laud the effort, as short-handed as we are,” manager Jim

Tracy said. “There’s a ton of baseball left. We’ve got to find a

way to win a few ballgames.”

That could be difficult, though, with Atlanta (51-36) winning

eight of nine at home and 12 of 15 overall.

Colorado will try to avoid its first six-game road losing streak

since an eight-game skid to end 2010 with right-hander Aaron Cook

(0-3, 4.66) on the hill. The veteran sinkerballer, making his sixth

start of the season after breaking the ring finger on his pitching

hand in March, has not won since Sept. 8.

He was in line for a victory Thursday against the Chicago White

Sox, yielding one run in six innings, but the Rockies’ bullpen

allowed five runs in the 6-4, 10-inning loss.

“It would have been nice to get (Cook) on the board in the win

column,” Tulowitzki told the Rockies’ official website after that

game. “He struggled a little bit early, but he found it. To get him

six innings, one run, it’s a game we should win.”

Cook, 1-1 with a 4.63 ERA in nine starts versus Atlanta, should

be careful pitching to Freddie Freeman. The rookie first baseman

has three homers in the first two games of this series after going

deep Tuesday.

“I’m not missing my pitches right now,” said Freeman, who has

five homers and 12 RBIs in his last 11 games.

All-Star third baseman Chipper Jones, who returned to the lineup

Tuesday after missing one game with a sore right knee, is a career

.348 hitter (8 for 23) against Cook with three doubles and a