Sheets ranks Braves debut among top moments

Sheets ranks Braves debut among top moments

Sheets ranks Braves debut among top moments
ATLANTA -- Right-hander Ben Sheets has had his share of big moments in his baseball career. He threw a shutout in the gold medal game at the 2000 Olympics to beat Cuba, struck out 18 batters in a game in 2004 and started the 2008 All-Star Game.

Sunday, Sheets experienced another great moment in his career. Pitching in the Major Leagues for the first time in nearly two years, Sheets threw six shutout innings against the Mets in the Braves' 6-1 victory. Sheets said Sunday belongs among the best moments in his career.

"It ranked high; it ranked very high," Sheets said. "I don't know exactly where, but it was a good feeling."

Sheets struck out five batters and allowed just two hits against the Mets. He hadn't pitched in the Major Leagues since July 19, 2010, when he was a member of the A's.

Since then, Sheets has undergone Tommy John surgery and missed all of the 2011 season. He's missed two of the last three seasons with arm injuries, but said he felt "very good" Monday, a day after throwing 88 pitches Sunday.

Sheets will make his next start in one of the games of the Braves' doubleheader against the Nationals on Saturday. Manager Fredi Gonzalez said he will ask Sheets which game he prefers pitching in before making a decision.

Adding Sheets to the Braves' rotation could prove to be big in the second half of the season, Gonzalez said.

"That's a big acquisition there," Gonzalez said. "He gave us a hell of an outing."