After getting a week of rest for a sore elbow, Jonny Venters recorded a couple of big outs for the Braves in Sunday’s 6-1 win against Houston.
The left-hander entered with runners and second and third and one out in the sixth, after reliever Cory Gearrin gave up a Justin Maxwell double that made the score 1-all. Venters struck out pinch-hitter Matt Downs, then intentionally walked Steve Pearce to load the bases before getting pinch-hitter J.D. Martinez to ground into a fielder’s choice.
Venters returned July 21 from a stint on the disabled list for elbow inflammation. He had four scoreless appearances in eight days before being shelved for a week with what manager Fredi Gonzalez termed elbow tenderness and said was “nothing major.”
“Just normal soreness they wanted to be cautious with,” Venters said before Sunday’s game. “I think it was just from pitching again [after the DL stint]. Just flared up. But it feels good now.”
Gonzalez praised the performances by Venters and reliever Luis Avilan, who entered with two on and two out in the seventh inning and struck out Brett Wallace.
“A couple of keys in this game were Jonny coming in [with runners at] second and third and getting those guys out, and then Luis coming in and getting Wallace with the strikeout with people on base,” Gonzalez said.
Chipper likely out of lineup
Chipper Jones planned to stay behind in Atlanta to take care of “family matters” on Sunday and join the team in Philadelphia late Monday afternoon. He is not expected to be in the lineup for Monday night’s series opener against the Phillies.
Prado spiked in leg
The Braves got a scare in the first inning Sunday when Martin Prado got spiked in the left shin while sliding into second on a stolen base, opening a cut.
Prado, who missed a month in the 2011 season for staph infection in his leg, was attended to by a Braves trainer on the field and stayed in the game Sunday after having a bandage applied to the wound.
Dan Uggla’s 0-for-4 game with two strikeouts Sunday dropped his home average to .185. Among major league qualifiers, only the Mets’ Ike Davis (.151) had a lower home average before Sunday. Uggla has hit .127 (21-for-165) in his past 50 games with two homers and 63 strikeouts. He does have eight RBIs in his past eight games and totaling nine in his previous 42 games….
Before his RBI single in the eighth inning Sunday, Michael Bourn was 1-for-24 this season against his former Astros team.