|Atlanta (40-33) «||0||0||3||0||0||0||1||0||x||4||7||1|
ATLANTA -- If his first two innings were an indication, Jair Jurrjens wondered if the Georgia heat might be too much to overcome against the Texas Rangers.
"They'd get two strikes and shorten their swings and they kept fouling off pitches," Jurrjens said. "That's not an easy lineup. You don't really want to groove one in there and make it a big inning."
Jason Heyward hit a two-run single in the third inning and Freddie Freeman added an RBI double in the seventh to help Jurrjens earn his ninth victory in the Atlanta Braves' 4-2 win over the Rangers on Sunday.
The Braves snapped a two-game losing streak, while Texas dropped its ninth in 13 games.
Jurrjens (9-3) allowed one run, seven hits, two walks and struck out four in 5 1/3 innings. The right-hander lowered his NL-best ERA to 2.11, but he wasn't so sure of his control after losing two of three starts.
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"You go through spells like that through the season," Jurrjens said. "I just try to keep my mindset of going out there and giving my team a chance to win."
Craig Kimbrel earned his 19th save in 24 chances for Atlanta, striking out Josh Hamilton on three pitches to end it with a runner on first.
Alexi Ogando (7-2) lost his second straight start after giving up five hits and three runs -- one earned -- with one walk and three strikeouts.
Rangers catcher Yorvit Torrealba suffered through a difficult third, getting charged with two errors that helped the Braves take a 3-0 lead.
With one out, Jordan Schafer reached on a catcher's interference call and moved to second when Dan Uggla singled for Atlanta's first hit.
After a wild pitch to Heyward advanced both runners, Heyward's two-run single made it 2-0. Heyward moved to third on Freeman's single and scored for a 3-0 lead when Torrealba collided with first baseman Michael Young on Alex Gonzalez's popup and was charged with a fielding error.
The error was the Rangers' 57th, tying them with Oakland for most in the majors.
In the fourth, Torrealba made up for some of his damage with an RBI single that cut the lead to 3-1, but he left the game when Taylor Teagarden took over behind the plate to begin the bottom of the fifth.
Neither Torrealba nor Ogando was available to speak with reporters after the game, a team spokesman said, because both were taking intravenous fluids.
"Even after what happened in the third, I thought we still had a chance to keep picking and pecking away at Jurrjens and that we would probably get something done," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "But the best we could do today was two runs."
Jurrjens labored through the first two innings, throwing 50 pitches but stranding five baserunners. Other than Torrealba's hit, Jurrjens settled down until Michael Young singled and David Murphy walked with one out in the sixth.
But Scott Linebrink and George Sherrill combined to retire Teagarden and pinch-hitter Mitch Moreland to end the threat.
"Sometimes it's not a good thing when you face a guy like [Jurrjens] and he has a high pitch count early on," Texas third baseman Adrian Beltre said. "My thought was to try and take as many [pitches] as I can, but he made the adjustments he needed to get us out when we had some runners on."
Hamilton's RBI groundout in the seventh cut the lead to 3-2. The run was charged to reliever Scott Proctor, who was making his fourth straight appearance and fifth in six games.
Washington used three pitchers in the seventh: Michael Kirkman, Arthur Rhodes and Yoshinori Tateyama.
Rhodes retired Brian McCann on a foul popout before Freeman's ground-rule double bounced into the left-field seats for a 4-2 lead, scoring Schafer from second and advancing Heyward to third. Freeman went 3 for 4.
Braves left-hander Jonny Venters pitched out of trouble for the last two outs of the seventh and a scoreless eighth to lower his ERA to 0.60, best in the majors.
Atlanta manager Fredi Gonzalez felt uneasy in the ninth when Elvis Andrus reached on an infield single.
"That's not a real good feeling," Gonzalez said, "sitting there on a ground ball to the third baseman and we don't make a play and here comes Hamilton."
But Hamilton, the 2010 AL MVP, swung and missed on the game's last pitch, dropping the Rangers to 3-7 on their road trip.
Jurrjens improved to 2-1 with a 1.59 ERA in seven career interleague starts. ... Despite the loss, Texas has won 16 of 20 interleague games since June 12, 2010. ... Braves LF Nate McLouth was activated from the disabled list after missing 22 games with a strained oblique and went 1 for 4. In his first at-bat, McLouth was hit by a pitch on the outside of his right knee but he saved a run in the eighth by diving to catch David Murphy's liner for the second out. ... Atlanta 3B Chipper Jones, who's missed three games with a right adductor strain, hopes he can pinch-hit Monday against Toronto.
|Players of the Game|
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|Ian Kinsler, 2B||5||1||2||0||0||0||1||.240|
|Elvis Andrus, SS||5||0||1||0||0||0||4||.280|
|Josh Hamilton, CF||4||0||0||1||1||3||1||.286|
|Adrian Beltre, 3B||4||0||1||0||0||0||0||.260|
|Michael Young, 1B||4||0||1||0||0||1||2||.307|
|Nelson Cruz, RF||4||1||2||0||0||1||1||.234|
|David Murphy, LF||3||0||0||0||1||0||2||.238|
|Yorvit Torrealba, C||2||0||2||1||0||0||0||.258|
|Taylor Teagarden, C||2||0||0||0||0||1||2||.100|
|Alexi Ogando, P||2||0||1||0||0||1||0||.500|
|a- Mitch Moreland, PH||1||0||0||0||0||1||2||.297|
|Michael Kirkman, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Arthur Rhodes, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Yoshinori Tateyama, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Dave Bush, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|b- Endy Chavez, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.338|
|a-struck out for Ogando in the 6th|
|b-flied out for Bush in the 9th|
|2B - Nelson Cruz 2 (12, Jurrjens, Venters)|
|RBI - Josh Hamilton (29), Yorvit Torrealba (13)|
|SB - Ian Kinsler (14, 2nd base off Proctor/McCann)|
|CS - Elvis Andrus (3, 2nd base by Jurrjens/McCann)|
|Team LOB - 10|
|E - Yorvit Torrealba 2 (4, Interference)|
|Alexi Ogando (L,7-2)||5||5||3||1||1||3||0||2.66|
|HBP - McLouth (by Alexi Ogando)|
|WP - Alexi Ogando (3)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Alexi Ogando 103-66, Michael Kirkman 38-21, Arthur Rhodes 10-7, Yoshinori Tateyama 4-3, Dave Bush 20-15|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Alexi Ogando 4-9, Yoshinori Tateyama 1-0, Dave Bush 1-1|
|Batters Faced - Alexi Ogando 24, Michael Kirkman 6, Arthur Rhodes 2, Yoshinori Tateyama 1, Dave Bush 4|
|Jordan Schafer, CF||3||2||0||0||1||1||1||.226|
|Dan Uggla, 2B||4||1||1||0||0||1||1||.177|
|Jason Heyward, RF||3||1||1||2||1||0||0||.215|
|Brian McCann, C||3||0||1||0||1||0||3||.297|
|Freddie Freeman, 1B||4||0||3||1||0||0||1||.271|
|Alex Gonzalez, SS||4||0||0||0||0||1||5||.250|
|Nate McLouth, LF||3||0||1||0||0||0||2||.240|
|Diory Hernandez, 3B||3||0||0||0||0||1||2||.233|
|Jair Jurrjens, P||2||0||0||0||0||0||0||.107|
|Scott Linebrink, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|George Sherrill, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a- Wilkin Ramirez, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.143|
|Scott Proctor, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Jonny Venters, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|b- Eric Hinske, PH||1||0||0||0||0||1||1||.253|
|Craig Kimbrel, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a-flied out for Sherrill in the 6th|
|b-struck out for Venters in the 8th|
|2B - Freddie Freeman (17, Rhodes)|
|SH - Diory Hernandez (2)|
|RBI - Jason Heyward 2 (17), Freddie Freeman (27)|
|2-OUT RBI - Freddie Freeman (11)|
|SB - Jordan Schafer (8, 2nd base off Kirkman/Teagarden), Brian McCann (2, 2nd base off Ogando/Torrealba)|
|Team LOB - 9|
|E - Diory Hernandez (2, Misplayed grounder)|
|Jair Jurrjens (W,9-3)||5.1||8||1||1||2||4||0||2.11|
|Scott Linebrink (H,3)||0.1||0||0||0||0||0||0||3.68|
|George Sherrill (H,2)||0.1||0||0||0||0||1||0||2.33|
|Scott Proctor (H,3)||0.1||1||1||1||0||0||0||3.29|
|Jonny Venters (H,15)||1.2||1||0||0||0||2||0||0.60|
|Craig Kimbrel (S,19)||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||3.00|
|WP - Jair Jurrjens (2)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Jair Jurrjens 116-78, Scott Linebrink 4-3, George Sherrill 5-3, Scott Proctor 6-4, Jonny Venters 23-16, Craig Kimbrel 11-7|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jair Jurrjens 4-7, Jonny Venters 2-1, Craig Kimbrel 1-2|
|Batters Faced - Jair Jurrjens 25, Scott Linebrink 1, George Sherrill 1, Scott Proctor 2, Jonny Venters 6, Craig Kimbrel 4|
|Attendance - 34599|
|Game Time - 3:34|
|Temperature - 88|
|Umpires - Home - Cory Blaser, First Base - Tony Randazzo, Second Base - Larry Vanover, Third Base - Brian Gorman|