MLB: Braves pound Phillies, 11-1
By Charles Odum
ATLANTA ó Jair Jurrjens was given an ovation after the right-hander gave up his only hit with two outs in the seventh inning.
In the Atlanta Braves dugout, manager Bobby Cox cheered privately ó for the hitter who saved him from having to make a difficult decision.
The Braves finally provided some run support for Jurrjens, who combined with two relievers on a two-hitter as Atlanta beat the reeling Philadelphia Phillies 11-1 on Wednesday.
The Braves had a 9-1 lead after five innings, but Cox began to worry as Jurrjens’ pitch count rose with his hitless innings.
Jurrjens threw 97 pitches over seven innings.
“It would have been interesting, what I was going to do after the seventh,” said Cox, who estimated Jurrjens’ pitch count would have been in the “high 120s, probably” if he completed the game.
Jurrjens’ no-hit bid ended on Paul Bako’s single with two outs in the seventh. Cox turned to his bullpen for the final two innings.
“The player’s arm comes first,” Cox said. “Bako helped me out.”
Jurrjens (6-6) began the night with the seventh-lowest run support in the majors, including only five runs in his last four losses. That lack of support ended as the Braves scored seven runs off Cole Hamels (4-5), who left the game after giving up three hits and a walk in the fifth.
Matt Diaz had a two-run homer and Diory Hernandez hit his first major league home run, both off Tyler Walker in the six-run fifth inning.
“He was unbelievable,” Diaz, who had three hits, said of Jurrjens. “He should be an All-Star as is, and if we could score him any runs he’d be a leading Cy Young candidate at the halfway point.”