New York (42-46) at Atlanta (44-45)

Cloudy Currently: Atlanta, GA
Temp: 72° F
  • Game info: 7:35 pm EDT Fri Jul 17, 2009
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Atlanta Braves right-hander Jair Jurrjens(notes) hasn’t received much run support this season. If he can keep swinging the bat like he did in his last game, he might not have to worry about that.

Jurrjens looks to lead the Braves to their sixth straight win at Turner Field on Friday night when they continue a four-game set against the New York Mets.

Despite having one of the NL’s best ERAs, Jurrjens (7-7, 2.91 ERA) has won just two of his last eight starts. The Braves are averaging 3.4 runs during these outings.

“He could easily have 12 or 13 wins, that’s how good he has been pitching all season long,” said Braves All-Star catcher Brian McCann(notes). “We just really haven’t been scoring for him.”

Jurrjens allowed two runs and five hits over six innings of Saturday’s 4-3 win at Colorado, and he had his first career multihit game, including an RBI single in the second.

“Any time you have a chance to help yourself out, you want to at least make the pitcher work,” said Jurrjens, batting .333 (4 for 12) in his last six games. “Don’t be an easy out. Don’t just go up there swinging.”

Jurrjens faces the Mets (42-46), who have lost four straight on the road, for the second time this season. In a 4-3, 10-inning loss at Citi Field on May 12, he surrendered two runs and seven hits in 7 2-3 innings.

Mets right-hander Mike Pelfrey(notes) (7-4, 4.47) went seven innings in that contest and yielded two runs and six hits. He is 1-1 with a 5.63 ERA in three career starts at Atlanta.

Pelfrey is looking to build off Sunday’s 9-7 win over Cincinnati. He gave up three runs and five hits and retired 10 in a row at one point, but yielded two walks to open the fifth as the Reds scored three times. Pelfrey committed his sixth balk of the season in the frame to become the first pitcher since Chris Michalak(notes) in 2001 to have this many balks in a season.

New York manager Jerry Manuel, though, let Pelfrey continue. The right-hander responded by setting the Reds down in order in the sixth and seventh.

“I think that was huge,” Pelfrey said. “As a pitcher you want to be left out there to work out of some tough situations, and he showed the faith in me to be able to do that.”

Braves third baseman Chipper Jones(notes) is 4 for 13 with two homers lifetime against Pelfrey. Jones, batting .330 in his career versus the Mets, had the go-ahead RBI single in the seventh inning Thursday as Atlanta (44-45) opened its eight-game homestand with a 5-3 victory over New York.

“This is a big series,” Jones said. “It’s a chance for us to play a good team. They’re in our rearview mirror now (in the NL East). Hopefully we keep them there.”

Atlanta left fielder Garret Anderson(notes) was 3 for 4 with a solo homer Thursday. He is batting .423 (11 for 26) with three home runs and four RBIs in his last seven home games.

In his first game at Turner Field since the Mets acquired him Friday from Atlanta for Ryan Church(notes), right fielder Jeff Francoeur(notes) went 0 for 4 with an RBI.

“It was a little bit of a distraction,” Francoeur said of his return. “It was a different experience. It was fun.”

Church pinch ran for Anderson in the eighth and scored on Greg Norton’s(notes) single.

Atlanta has won nine of 12 at home against New York.

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Starting Pitchers

M. Pelfrey Min vs. J. Jurrjens Col
10-12 Record 14-10
5.03 ERA 2.60
107 K 152
66 BB 75
1.51 WHIP 1.21


Friday, Jul 17