Jair Jurrjens surprisingly stellar in return from minors

By Matt Snyder | Baseball Writer

At the beginning of this week, the Braves learned they had lost the MLB leader in ERA, Brandon Beachy, for the rest of the season. Where to turn? Why, 2011 All-Star Jair Jurrjens, of course.

Jurrjens was summoned from Triple-A to start Friday against the Red Sox.

Things looked bleak on paper. From last season's All-Star break until this season's demotion to Triple-A, Jurrjens was 1-5 with a 6.87 ERA and 1.87 WHIP in 11 starts. For Triple-A Gwinnett this season, Jurrjens was 3-4 with a 5.18 ERA and 1.43 WHIP.

Not only that, but Jurrjens was facing a stacked offense in the Red Sox Friday night. Entering Friday, only the Rangers had scored more runs in the entire MLB than the Red Sox. Only the Rangers and Yankees had a higher OPS.

And Jurrjens went out and handcuffed the Red Sox through seven innings. He took a one-hit shutout into the eighth. The Red Sox would gather a pair of doubles and a run off Jurrjens in the eighth, but three hits and one run in 7 2/3 innings against the Red Sox is a pretty great pitching performance. The Braves would go on to beat the Red Sox, 4-1, for their third-straight victory.

For now, at least, the Braves have to be encouraged about Jurrjens' chances of trying to fill Beachy's shoes.

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