St. Louis – The hits keep coming for the Braves, just not the kind they need.
Starting pitcher Jair Jurrjens left with a strained left hamstring after the first inning and shortstop Yunel Escobar exited with a groin injury later in the Braves’ 10-4 loss Thursday against the Cardinals, which capped a horrid 0-7 trip.
“I think J.J. has a good chance to make his next start,” said manager Bobby Cox, whose last-place Braves have a nine-game losing streak. “I’m not sure about Escobar. He gets that [injury] once in a while and it takes a little while, so we’ll see. There’s no off days, so we’ll see tomorrow.”
The Braves finished an 0-7 trip that was the worst in six decades for the franchise, since the 1949 Boston Braves went 0-8 at Philadelphia and Brooklyn.
Jurrjens allowed a three-run homer by David Freese in the first inning and was replaced by reliever Kris Medlen to begin the second. He said he felt a mild hamstring twinge a few days ago during a conditioning sprint, but thought he’d be able to pitch Thursday without favoring it. He was wrong.
“I really didn’t aggravate it” in the game, he said. “Just a little bit of caution; I was scared to put pressure on it. I felt it a little in the bullpen, and when I came in the game I was just trying to not put so much pressure on it, to use all arm. It wasn’t working so well.”
Cox and pitching coach Roger McDowell decided to replace him after one inning when Jurrjens (0-3) conceded he was favoring the leg. He said he hoped to make his next scheduled start.
“We’ll see how it bounces back,” he said. “Hopefully by tomorrow it’s getting better.”
Escobar strained his left adductor muscle fielding a grounder and throwing to first base in the seventh inning. After the game, he said through a team spokesman that he could possibly return in a few days.
Cox, noting that Escobar’s previous groin injuries have usually required several days to heal, said the Braves would not make any move to replace him before they saw how he felt in the next couple of days.
After Troy Glaus pinch-hit for Escobar in the eighth, Omar Infante moved from third base to shortstop and Eric Hinske from first to third.