ATLANTA -- After an encouraging meeting with Braves associate physician and hand specialist Dr. Gary Lourie before Friday night's series opener against the Padres, left-hander Scott Downs made his return to the Atlanta bullpen for the first time since sustaining a fractured finger on his right hand last Saturday against the Phillies.
Downs entered a tie game with two outs and a runner on second base in the eighth and surrendered the game-winning RBI single off the bat of Padres pinch-hitter Logan Forsythe. Jordan Walden, making just his second appearance since returning from a nagging groin injury, was charged with the run and the loss after walking Tommy Medica and throwing a wild pitch that allowed Medica to advance to second.
After the Braves' 4-3 loss, manager Fredi Gonzalez confirmed that Downs would be available as normal going forward. Since he was acquired from the Angels on July 29 in exchange for reliever Cory Rasmus, Downs has made 19 appearances for the Braves, posting a 2.25 ERA with 14 strikeouts in 12 innings. He was just one of six relievers to see action on Friday night after rookie starter David Hale was lifted after five shutout innings.
Eric Single is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less