Jair Jurrjens needed this.
Oh, the Braves needed Sunday’s dramatic 4-3 victory over the Rockies, but Jurrjens needed a solid outing just as much. He was coming off a 17-2 loss to the Padres last Monday. Plagued by an inflamed shoulder in spring training that set him back several weeks, Jurrjens pitched eight innings Sunday in his third start. He allowed three earned runs on five hits, two of which were solo home runs in the seventh and eighth innings that had him on the losing side of the ledger until Jason Heyward’s ninth-inning heroics.
“It’s more important to win the game,” Jurrjens said. “I feel like I turned a corner. I’m getting my arm strength back.”
Jurrjens (0-1) struck out nine, while walking three, in throwing 108 pitches. Eric O’Flaherty worked the top of the ninth inning to get the win. In his three starts, Jurrjens has worked 16.1 innings, allowing 16 hits, 13 runs, 11 earned runs – and now two home runs. Ian Stewart and Carlos Gonzalez hit balls over the right field wall to threaten Jurrjens with the loss. It marked the fourth time in his career that Jurrjens two or more homers in a game.
“I left the ball over the plate,” Jurrjens said. “I had been throwing inside the whole game. They put the bat head on the ball and got me for two home runs.”