Braves Make Quick Work of Ohlendorf, Pirates
Biertempfel, Rob, Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
The Atlanta Braves made quick work of Pirates right-hander Ross Ohlendorf on Friday night, cruising to a 7-0 victory at PNC Park.
In his previous start Sunday against Chicago, Ohlendorf was pulled with a two-run lead after throwing just 73 pitches in six innings. Before yesterday's game, manager John Russell said Ohlendorf had the green light to go deeper.
"He's built up to a point where he can go as deep as he can go," Russell said. "We don't have to worry about limiting him. He's a strong guy."
Ohlendorf made 67 tosses against the Braves -- and was gone after 3 2/3 innings. The right-hander allowed six runs on seven hits, walked three and struck out three.
"He didn't have much tonight," Russell said. "His fastball didn't have much life, the sinker wasn't moving much, his slider was more of a slurve than anything. Just one of those nights when he didn't have much on the ball."
Ohlendorf has gone 0-2 and pitched 13 2/3 innings in three starts since coming off the disabled list 12 days ago. He said his lower back, which locked up in early April a few days after his first start, is fine.
"Physically, I feel great," he said. "I'm just not as strong with my location as I need to be. I really need to go deeper into games."
It was Ohlendorf's shortest outing as a starter since Sept. 15, 2008, when he lasted three innings against Los Angeles. That was his third game with the Pirates, and at the time Ohlendorf was being stretched out after working as a reliever.
The Braves struck quickly against Ohlendorf (0-2), whose ERA nearly doubled to 5.30. The first two batters reached base, then Chipper Jones, a .292 hitter at PNC Park, grounded an RBI single up the middle.
In the third, Jason Heyward, the early front-runner for NL Rookie of the Year, mashed a two-run homer to right.
In the fourth, with one out and runners on second and third, pitcher Tim Hudson grounded to the left side. Third baseman Andy LaRoche gave up on the ball, and it rolled past shortstop Ronny Cedeno for a single. …