ATLANTA (AP) — A dominant performance by Jair Jurrjens only added to the Baltimore Orioles’ growing frustrations.
Jurrjens threw a one-hitter for his first career shutout, Jason Heyward ended a long home-run drought and the Atlanta Braves beat the slumping Orioles 4-0 on Friday night.
The Orioles (35-44) have lost four straight to fall a season-worst nine games below .500. They fell to 4-13 in their last
17 road games.
“We’re trying. We’re giving our best effort,” said Adam Jones, who ended Jurrjens’ no-hit bid with his single up the middle with one out in the seventh. Jones stole second but was stranded there as Jurrjens struck out Matt Wieters and Derrek Lee.
“It’s frustrating,” Jones said. “We all feel good. We all go up there with a good plan. It’s just, the execution is not coming
through right now.”
Jurrjens (11-3) became the first NL pitcher with 11 wins and lowered the NL’s best ERA to 1.89. He recorded 15 straight outs before Mark Reynolds walked to lead off the sixth.
How dominant was Jurrjens?
“We got one hit,” Jones said. “I think that answers the question.”
Jones’ single left Jurrjens shaking his head after the game.
“A bouncer,” Jurrjens said. “I would prefer to give up a line drive off the wall.”
Jeremy Guthrie (3-10) threw five scoreless innings, allowing only a walk and a hit, before giving up Heyward’s first homer since April 29, a two-run shot in the sixth.
“We knew we were up for a challenge tonight,” Guthrie said.
“You anticipate that kind of battle all night long, You know every run is going to be at a premium.”
Guthrie remained in the game after he was hit on his right leg by a line drive hit by Alex Gonzalez in the fifth.
“They leave a little bit of a mark, but that’s what you get when you hang a slider,” Guthrie said.
Orioles manager Buck Showalter said Guthrie “gave us a chance to win” but couldn’t match Jurrjens.
“He’s fearless with his changeup on any count,” said Showalter of Jurrjens. “He’s tough, tough, tough. He was good but you’ve got to beat the good guys, too, if you want to get where you want to go. We really didn’t mount much.”
Jurrjens threw 101 pitches through eight innings but was allowed to pitch the ninth with closer Craig Kimbrel standing on the bullpen mound. Jurrjens pitched a perfect ninth for his second complete game of the season.
Jurrjens struck out eight and walked one batter.
The Braves (48-35) have won four straight and nine of 11 to move a season-best 13 games over .500.
Heyward missed 18 games with a right shoulder injury before coming off the disabled list on June 15.
Heyward hit 18 homers and drove in 72 runs as a rookie last season and had seven homers at the end of April this year.
Guthrie was pulled after giving up singles to Jordan Schafer and Heyward to open the eighth. Left-hander Pedro Viola, recalled from Double-A Bowie before the game, recorded one out before giving up Chipper Jones’ run-scoring single to left.
Freddie Freeman followed with a grounder which first baseman Lee fielded before throwing wildly to second base for an error, allowing Heyward to score for a 4-0 lead.
Guthrie gave up six hits and four runs, three earned, in seven-plus innings.
Each starting pitcher had the support of strong defensive plays in the outfield.
Nate McLouth, running toward the wall in left field, caught a drive hit by Jones with two outs in the fourth. In the bottom of the fourth, Jones made a running catch in front of the wall in center of a drive hit by Freeman.
The Braves haven’t had a no-hitter since Kent Mercker held the Dodgers without a hit on April 8, 1994. Mercker also was part of a combined no-hitter with Mark Wohlers and Alejandro Pena against San Diego on Sept. 11, 1991.
NOTES: Braves OF Martin Prado took batting practice outdoors on Friday for the first time since surgery for a staph infection in his right leg. He has been out since June 8 and could make a minor league rehabilitation assignment next week. … Baltimore manager Buck Showalter said Viola gave the bullpen another LHP against a Braves lineup stacked with left-handed hitters. … Braves 2B Dan Uggla was 0 for 4 with four strikeouts and is hitting .176.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)