No matter how well Jair Jurrjens has pitched in his last three start, the elusive “W” has found a way to evade the right-handed hurler.
Tonight was no different.
Jurrjens (2-2) tossed six strong innings, allowing two earned runs on six hits — all singles — but still was tagged with the loss. He endured a taxing first two innings where he threw 48 pitches, giving up RBI singles to both Chris Duncan and Rick Ankiel. The second inning, however, proved to seal his fate.
After issuing his only two walks of the ballgame, Ankiel connected on the run-scoring base-hit which gave the Cardinals (14-6) an early 2-0 lead.
Atlanta (9-10) answered with a run in the bottom half of the second when David Ross (1-for-4) doubled home Casey Kotchman (3-for-4), but couldn’t find another answer to St. Louis starter Joel Pineiro (4-0) until the bottom of the seventh inning when Chipper Jones scored on a Jeff Francoeur sacrifice fly.
By that time, though, reliever Peter Moylan had already surrendered the eventual winning-run in the top half of the inning on another Ankiel RBI single.
Pineiro scored on the play after being walked to start the inning.
The Braves failed in a last-ditch attempt to tie the game on a bases-loaded opportunity in the eighth.
Atlanta will take on the Cardinals in game two of the three-games series at 7:05 p.m. on Tuesday. Jo-Jo Reyes is the scheduled starter for Atlanta.
– You have to feel bad for Jurrjens. No matter how well the kid pitches, Atlanta’s offense can’t steal him a run. Take a look at the totals of his last three starts: A combined 25 2/3 innings pitched, 3 earned runs allowed, six walks, 13 strikeouts. Look’s fantastic right. Well, it’s culminated in two losses and a no-decsion. Talk about bad luck.
– Timely hitting ultimately killed Atlanta’s chances again. They left five runners on base and went 1-for-8 with runners in scoring position — the most crucial being the eighth innings bases loaded situation.
– Aside for Moylan, Rafael Soriano, Eric O’ Flaherty, Jeff Bennett and Buddy Carlyle all had scoreless appearances. At least they gave the Braves a chance.
– Atlanta’s home attendance is getting ridiculous. The announced crowd was 16, 739. I don’t care if it’s a Monday or not Atlanta — Come out and support the Braves!!