With Beachy hurt, Jurrjens to start vs. Boston

With Beachy hurt, Jurrjens to start vs. Boston

With Beachy hurt, Jurrjens to start vs. Boston
ATLANTA -- Jair Jurrjens, sent to the Minors in late April to regain his past form, will start for the Braves in Boston on Friday as a replacement for Brandon Beachy.

With an off-day on Thursday and again the following Monday, the Braves could have elected to go with a four-man rotation for the next two weeks with Beachy on the disabled list.

Instead, manager Fredi Gonzalez will give his other starters an extra day off and give Jurrjens a chance to show that he has found his strength and command after six weeks with Triple-A Gwinnett.

Jurrjens, who pitched for the National League in the All-Star Game last season, was 13-6 with a 2.97 ERA in 2011, but he missed the final two months of the campaign with a knee injury and didn't look like the same pitcher in 2012, either in Spring Training or at the start of the season.

"He's made some progress," Gonzalez said. "His velocity has been up. ... There is some separation with his changeup. We'll give it a shot."

Jurrjens, who worked 6 2/3 innings in a loss to Columbus on Thursday, is 3-4 with a 5.27 ERA in nine starts for Gwinnett, but he has looked like his old self at times, including an outing in which he allowed just three hits over eight scoreless innings.

"He's done it before. He was an All-Star," Gonzalez said. "We'll give him an opportunity again. I'm kind of curious when he comes back to see how he is going to pitch."

Gonzalez cited Tim Hudson's tender ankle as one of the reasons the team decided not to go with a four-man rotation. Kris Medlen, who had been stretched out with Gwinnett as a possible starter, will stay in a relief role, at least for the moment.

"We thought about Medlen," Gonzalez said, "but he's too valuable in the bullpen right now."

Jurrjens, 26, went into this season with a career 50-33 record and 3.40 ERA, but he went 0-2 with a 9.37 ERA in four April starts, pitching just 16 1/3 innings.

"He knows he'll have to pitch well to stay in the rotation," Gonzalez said. "But with Beachy out for a while, it is not a one-and-go situation. ... He's done everything we asked him to do in the Minor Leagues."

Julio Teheran, rated the top pitching prospect in the Minors, remains a possibility after making a spot start last Sunday against the Blue Jays. But he had some tightness in his back during a start for Gwinnett on Saturday and left after four innings, having labored through 86 pitches.

Teheran, 22, is 5-3 with a 3.24 ERA in 12 starts for Gwinnett.