LAWRENCEVILLE — If left up to Jair Jurrjens, he will pitch Saturday against the New York Mets.
“I hope so. I showed them I am healthy. I can go six,” the right-hander said after his rehab outing for the Gwinnett Braves. “I am ready to go.”
Jurrjes said he felt no pain in his first real action since injuring his right oblique in spring training and his focus Monday was on pitching.
“I felt good, I didn’t even think about it,” he said. “I was just trying to think about the hitters and throwing strikes.”
Over six innings, Jurrjens allowed two runs off four hits, walking two and striking out three. The G-Braves bats gave him support just in time and Jurrjens earned the win as Gwinnett rolled 8-3 to open the series with Norfolk.
He allowed three extra-base hits including a home run to Norfolk’s (0-5) Nolan Reimold and an RBI double to Nick Green. Green’s double could have been a single, but in left field Willie Cabrera misplayed the ball in the setting sun.
“The sun. You know, there is nothing you can do about that,” Jurrjens said. “I pitched around it and only gave up a run. The only two bad pitches were the double that Nick Green hit and the slider for the home run. They cost me two runs. You know, I am happy.”
Neither of Jurrjens’ two walks came across to score. He led the third off with his second but coaxed Matt Angle into a bad stolen-base attempt on a pitch-out.
Jurrjens’ best innings were his first inning and his final two. He retired nine consecutive hitters to end the game and the stretch started at the end of the inning where he allowed his lead-off home run.
“The last three innings I settled down and was just trying to hit my spot and trust the grip and throw it for a strike,” Jurrjens said.
Jurrjens walked off the mound with a no-decision, but by the time G-Braves reliever Anthony Varvaro entered the game he was in line for the win.
Mauro Gomez and Wilkin Ramirez connected for back-to-back home runs to the berm in left-center field as to cap a four-run, two-out explosion. Gomez’ homer scored Ed Lucas and Joe Mather, who both reached base with two outs. Mather is now on a season-long five-game hitting streak.
The four-run inning is a season high for the G-Braves, who scored just 11 runs in their four-game series to with Durham.
For the first three innings, Gwinnett’s offensive struggles continued, going down in order the first time through the lineup.
But Jordan Schafer ended a three-inning perfect game with a bunt single that also ended Troy Patton’s night. Patton dove at Schafer’s well-placed bunt between first and the mound, missed the ball and never came back up. He appeared to be holding his wrist. Patton turned the game over to Mark Hendrickson who took the loss, giving up five runs off five hits.