CHICAGO — Chad Durbin is fine for the role the Braves are using him, manager Fredi Gonzalez said Tuesday, a day after Durbin gave up another home run.
The two-run homer that Geovany Soto hit off the Braves reliever in the eighth inning of Monday’s 5-1 loss to the Cubs was the fifth off the right-hander in 12 innings, the most allowed by any National League reliever.
Durbin’s 8.25 ERA was also the third-highest among NL relievers before Tuesday, and in his past five appearances he’s allowed five hits, five runs, two homers and five walks in 4-2/3 innings.
“He’s fine,” Gonzalez said. “He fits in that role. Obviously if it’s a one-run game or a tied game, somebody else would have pitched there. But in that role he fits.
“He’s come up with some big outs for us, some big innings.”
Durbin was not charged with any runs in eight of nine appearances before giving up three runs in two innings of his past two games, including a homer in each.
Bourn continues burn
Michael Bourn went 1-for-2 with two walks in Monday’s loss to the Cubs to extend his hitting streak to 11 games, during which he was 18-for-49 (.367). He hit safely in 22 of his last 24 games before Tuesday, batting .382 with 10 steals and a .452 on-base percentage during that period.
Bourn led the majors with a .416 average against right-handed pitchers and ranked second in OBP against righties (.483) before Tuesday. His .404 OBP ranked second among NL leadoff men.
O’Flaherty matches ‘11 ER total
The run that Eric O’Flaherty allowed in the seventh inning Monday was the eighth earned run off the Braves lefty this season, matching his total in 2011 when he posted a 0.98 ERA that broke the major league record for 75 or more appearances.
Gonzalez said there were no glaring differences he could see between O’Flaherty form last season and this year.
“Any time you go .98 ERA, then all of a sudden you give you a few runs and everybody’s going, ‘What the matter with…?’” Gonzalez said. “But I think he’s fine. Other than he’s becoming mortal again I guess, right? His velocity looks good, life [on fastball] looks good.”
O’Flaherty had a 6.55 ERA through Monday, with eight earned runs in 11 innings. Last season he had eight in 73-2/3 innings.