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Gonzalez confident O'Flaherty will rebound

Gonzalez confident O'Flaherty will rebound

Gonzalez confident O'Flaherty will rebound
ATLANTA -- No one expected Eric O'Flaherty to be quite as good this season as he was a year ago. After all, the Braves lefty reliever set a Major League record for anyone with 75 or more appearances by posting a 0.98 ERA in 2011.

But after giving up just eight earned runs over 73 2/3 innings last year, O'Flaherty had already allowed seven in 8 1/3 frames this year entering Thursday's series finale against Philadelphia.

O'Flaherty was the victim of a three-run inning for the second time in six appearances Wednesday night, as Carlos Ruiz homered with two on in the seventh inning to put the Phillies back on top in a wild game that the Braves eventually won, 15-13, in 11 innings.

The homer by Ruiz, which followed a leadoff walk and a single, was the second given up by O'Flaherty -- matching last season's total.

Asked if he was concerned, Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said, "No, not really, because he's had some good outings. Just one bad pitch."

But O'Flaherty has made more than his share of bad pitches the first month. He entered Thursday with a 7.56 ERA and had blown both of his save opportunities.

"We expect so much of him [after last year]," Gonzalez said. "I think he'll be fine."

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