Atlanta (25-20) at Arizona (19-23)

Mostly Cloudy Currently: Phoenix, AZ
Temp: 92° F
  • Game info: 9:40 pm EDT Thu May 19, 2011
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Jair Jurrjens(notes) has not pitched particularly well in Arizona during his career, but he hasn’t lost there, either. He’s thrown the ball well everywhere he’s pitched this season for the Atlanta Braves, and he hasn’t lost anywhere.

Jurrjens looks to remain undefeated on the season and help the Braves avoid a two-game sweep in Arizona on Thursday night.

Jurrjens (5-0, 1.66 ERA) is two wins shy of matching his total from last season, when he missed two months with a strained hamstring. After he opened 2011 on the disabled list with a right oblique strain, Jurrjens has not allowed more than two earned runs in six starts.

“He’s been good every outing,” Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said.

The right-hander won his fourth straight start Saturday, retiring the first 17 batters he faced and going on to pitch 7 1-3 innings, giving up two earned runs and three hits in a 5-3 victory over Philadelphia.

“He’s learning how to pitch,” teammate Chipper Jones(notes) told the Braves’ official website. “He’s throwing two-seamers, four-seamers and sliders. He’s throwing to both sides of the plate.”

Jurrjens has not been nearly as sharp in two career starts at Chase Field, surrendering eight earned runs in 11 innings. However, he’s won both thanks to 21 runs of support from his teammates.

Now, he will try to help the Braves (25-20) bounce back after their after four-game winning streak was snapped with a 5-4, 11-inning loss at Arizona in Wednesday’s series opener.

Martin Prado(notes) singled to extend his hitting streak to 10 games, but Atlanta could not hold a one-run lead in top of the 11th inning as Arizona (19-23) scored twice to win its second straight game and fourth in the last five.

“That’s the whole thing we talk about all the time, trying to do everything hard and giving 100 percent,” said Diamondbacks third baseman Ryan Roberts(notes), who scored the winning run on Justin Upton’s(notes) ground ball.

Upton is batting .389 with two home runs and four RBIs in his last four games.

For Atlanta, Prado is batting .355 with 18 RBIs in his last 21 games. He’ll try to stay hot when the Braves face rookie right-hander Josh Collmenter(notes) (2-0, 0.90) for the first time.

Collmenter, who had allowed two runs in 14 innings over seven relief appearances, entered the rotation Saturday and limited the Los Angeles Dodgers to two hits in six innings of a 1-0 victory, winning his first career start.

“Coming up through the minors as a starter, I always dreamed of being a starter in the big leagues,” Collmenter said. So I was excited to get this opportunity and I wanted to make the most of it when I got out there,” said Collmenter, who replaced the demoted Barry Enright(notes) in Arizona’s rotation.

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Starting Pitchers

J. Jurrjens Col vs. J. Collmenter Ari
13-6 Record 10-10
2.96 ERA 3.38
90 K 100
44 BB 28
1.22 WHIP 1.07


Thursday, May 19