BOSTON — Jair Jurrjens made an impressive return to the majors by allowing one run on three hits and shut down the hot-hitting Boston Red Sox, leading the Atlanta Braves to a 4-1 win on Friday night.
Jurrjens, an All-Star last season when he topped the Braves with 13 wins, worked 7 2-3 innings and left after allowing an RBI double by Daniel Nava that drove in Will Middlebrooks, who led off the eighth with a double. Boston’s only other hit was a clean single to left field by Adrian Gonzalez in the first.
Jurrjens was demoted to the minors on April 23 after going 0-2 with a 9.37 ERA in four starts. He was called up Friday and retired eight consecutive batters before Middlebrooks’ double that followed two innings in which he threw a total of 14 pitches. He also allowed runners on a walk and a hit batsman.
Jurrjens played for the Willemstad, Curacao, team that won the Senior League World Series title in 2002, the first year the event was held in Bangor.
Craig Kimbrel pitched a perfect ninth Friday night for his 21st save in 22 opportunities.
Andrelton Simmons drove in two runs for Atlanta and Jason Heyward had two doubles and a single, improving to 7 for 11 in his last three games. The Braves won their third straight game after losing seven of eight.
Boston’s five-game winning streak ended one day after it completed a three-game sweep of the Miami Marlins in which it scored 28 runs.
The start of the game was delayed 1 hour, 14 minutes by rain.
Roger Clemens sat in the first row above the Green Monster in left field. He received a subdued mixture of cheers and boos when shown on the center-field scoreboard after the third inning with the words “Welcome Back Roger Clemens” on the screen. The former Red Sox pitcher was acquitted Monday on all six counts that he lied to Congress when he denied using performance-enhancing drugs.
Jurrjens (1-2) began last season with a 5-0 record and 1.66 ERA in six starts. By the All-Star break, he was 12-3 with a 1.87 ERA. But he struggled in the second half, going 1-3 and making two trips to the disabled list with a lingering problem in his right knee. His last appearance of the season came on Aug. 30 and the knee wasn’t back at full strength when this season began.
Even at Triple-A Gwinnett, he had a 5.27 ERA in nine starts.
However, he shackled the Red Sox, who had won seven of their previous eight games.