Jurrjens silences Sox in return to Majors

Jurrjens silences Sox in return to Majors
June 23, 2012, 3:25 am
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BOSTON -- Riding a five-game winning streak, coming off perhaps their most inspiring win of the season, their confidence at a season high, facing a pitcher who was being called up from Triple-A it appeared the confluence of factors was in the Red Sox favor.

Instead, Braves right-hander Jair Jurrjens, making his first big league start since April 23, shut down the Red Sox offense as the Braves beat the Red Sox and Jon Lester, 4-1, at Fenway Park Friday night.

The Sox offense could manage just three baserunners over the first seven innings against Jurrjens, who took a record of 0-2 with a 9.37 ERA into the game. Jurrjens allowed just one hit, a first-inning single by Adrian Gonzalez. Daniel Navas two-out walk in the third and Will Middlebrooks getting hit with 1-out, 1-1, 88-mph fastball in the fifth accounted for all the offense the Sox could muster against the Braves starter.

But Jurrjens tired in the eighth, giving up a run on doubles by Will Middlebrooks and Daniel Nava.

Jurrjens earned the win, going 7 23 innings, giving up one run on three hits and walk with four strikeouts and a hit batter.

Jon Lester, despite recording his ninth quality start in 15 outings and lowering his ERA from 4.53 to 4.48, took the loss, dropping his record to 4-5. He went seven innings, giving up three runs on 10 hits, matching a season high, with one intentional walk, a hit batter, and five strikeouts. He threw 118 pitches, the most since 120 in 6 23 innings on May 30 against the Tigers.

Freddie Freeman led off the fourth with a single to right, taking third on Jason Heywards double to left-center, and scoring on Matt Diazs groundout to Mike Aviles at shortstop. Andrelton Simmons double to left scored Heyward, giving the Braves a 2-0 lead.

Atlanta added a run in the sixth when Heyward led off with a double to right, took third on Diazs fly out to Cody Ross in right, scoring on Simmons sacrifice fly to Ross.

Mark Melancon pitched 1 23 innings, giving up a run on three hits and an intentional walk with one strikeout. Clayton Mortensen finished off the ninth.

Craig Kimbrel earned his 20th save for the Braves with a perfect ninth inning.