Braves RP Saito could miss season

BY foxsports • September 18, 2010

Takashi Saito's out with a sore right shoulder, and the Atlanta Braves are uncertain if they'll get their setup man back this season.

The injury's a blow to Atlanta's stellar bullpen as the Braves try to maintain a slim lead in the NL wild card race.

Saito left Friday night's victory over the New York Mets with pain in his pitching shoulder after striking out both batters he faced in the eighth inning. The Braves said Saturday the 40-year-old righty is unavailable for the final two games of the series and he'll travel back to Atlanta on Sunday to undergo tests Monday.

Saito's 2-3 with a 2.52 ERA and one save in 55 appearances. He's compiled 16 consecutive scoreless outings, striking out 20 in 15 2/3 innings.

''Hopefully, we can get him back this season. He's an integral part of the bullpen. He's been lights out,'' Braves manager Bobby Cox said. ''The name of the game is pick each other up. We've got depth in the bullpen, so we can work around it.''

Atlanta's bullpen began the day with a 3.04 ERA and .220 opponents batting average, ranked second in the majors in both categories.

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