Posted: Thursday, June 19th 2014 at 11:04pm
Floyd breaks elbow bone in Braves' win over Nats
By The Associated Press
WASHINGTON -- Gavin Floyd, recently returned from Tommy John surgery, pitched six scoreless innings Thursday night before leaving with a broken bone in his elbow, the latest setback for an injury-riddled Atlanta Braves' rotation and one that tempered a 3-0 victory over the Washington Nationals.
Floyd flexed his pitching arm awkwardly after giving up a long foul ball to Jayson Werth on the first pitch of the seventh inning. After an examination by the Braves' trainer on the mound, Floyd left the game for reliever Anthony Varvaro.
The Braves said that Floyd broke his olecranon, the bony tip of the ulna that sticks out behind the elbow. He will return to Atlanta on Friday to be examined by team doctors and to determine how long he will be sidelined.
Floyd (2-2) was making his ninth start since recovering from ligament replacement surgery, but manager Fredi Gonzalez said the two injuries are not related.
The Braves lost starters Kris Medlen and Brandon Beachy and reliever Cory Gearrin to Tommy John surgery during spring training, upending a major plank in their plans to repeat as NL East champions.
Floyd had been working on a two-hit shutout. He needed only 64 pitches to get through six innings, walking one and striking out six to outduel Jordan Zimmerman (5-4).
The win moved the Braves within a half-game of the first-place Nationals atop the NL East as the division rivals opened a four-game series. Atlanta had been trending downward recently, losing eight of 12 entering the series.
Chris Johnson drove in all three of the Braves' runs, two on a bases-loaded single in the fourth and another on a line drive that smacked reliever Jerry Blevins' left knee in the eighth. Blevins was examined by the Nationals' trainer but remained in the game to face one more batter.
Zimmermann, coming off consecutive complete games, had his second straight hard-luck start. He lost 1-0 to Lance Lynn and the St. Louis Cardinals last Friday, and this time he allowed only two runs and seven hits through seven innings.
The Braves did their damage in the fourth with four consecutive singles. Freddie Freeman hit his to center field. Evan Gettis singled to left, extending the catcher's hitting streak to 18 games - longest active streak in the majors and best ever by a Braves catcher. Heyward to center to load the bases.
That brought up Johnson, whose dribbler up the middle was just out of reach of second baseman Danny Espinosa.
Varvaro pitched the seventh, Jordan Walden worked the eighth, and Craig Kimbrel struck out two in the ninth for his 21st save for the Braves, who have won 23 of 30 against the Nationals.
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