ATLANTA -- After pitching four times in the first eight days after his return from the disabled list, Jonny Venters experienced tenderness again in his left elbow. But a few days of rest had the Braves reliever feeling OK again.
"I'm fine," he said before Sunday's series finale against Houston. "It got a little sore, so they gave me a little time off. It was just a precaution."
Venters proved he had no lingering problems by working out of an inherited jam in the sixth inning of the Braves' 6-1 victory over the Astros. He was credited with the win after getting a strikeout with two runners in scoring position, then ending the inning with a forceout after an intentional walk.
Venters was hurried back after just one rehab outing with Triple-A Gwinnett and pitched two scoreless innings at Washington on July 22. He pitched again at Miami on July 25 and worked twice against the Phillies at Turner Field last weekend.
Venters wasn't available for the last few games of the Marlins series and the first two games against the Astros. But he successfully tested the elbow in a throwing session on Saturday.
"He's fine. We've kind of laid off him the last three or four days," manager Fredi Gonzalez said after Saturday night's 3-2 loss to Houston. "Just tender with his elbow a little bit. Nothing major. So we just took a step back."
It has been a disappointing season for Venters, who had a 1.84 ERA in 85 games last year. He was 6-2 with five saves, striking out 96 in 88 innings.
This season, though, his ERA was 3.96 in 44 games and he was 3-3 with no saves. He had struck out 49, but allowed 44 hits in 36 1/3 innings.
Venters went on the disabled list July 5 with what was termed as an elbow impingement. In the four appearances after his return, he had allowed three hits and no runs over four innings while walking two and striking out four.