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ATL@CHC: Jurrjens strong through 6 1/3 shutout frames

The Braves will enter Tuesday's clash at Turner Field against the Nationals coming off an unusual three-day break after having some unexpected days off ahead of and during the arrival of Hurricane Irene to the East Coast.

Atlanta's Saturday and Sunday games against the Mets were both postponed before the storm's arrival in the Big Apple, which -- along with Monday's scheduled off-day -- gives manager Fredi Gonzalez's club the rare late-season rest. The Braves had their shortened five-game road trip come to a close with Friday's 6-0 loss to the Mets after taking three of four from the Cubs.

The biggest question facing Gonzalez became what to do with his starting rotation, as the manager tried to strike a balance between getting his pitchers some extra rest and allowing them too much time between starts.

"You get stuck again like the All-Star break," Gonzalez said. "If you push too many guys too far back, then you get one guy who goes like nine days without pitching."

Holding a workout at Turner Field Sunday, the Braves announced that Jair Jurrjens will start Tuesday's series opener on an extra thee days of rest. Derek Lowe will start Wednesday and Tim Hudson will then pitch in Thursday's series finale.

Jurrjens bounced back from two poor outings his last time out by tossing 6 1/3 scoreless innings against the Cubs for his first victory since a four-start winning streak from June 19-July 6. In two outings against the Nationals this season, though, Jurrjens has allowed 11 runs off of 16 hits while lasting just 10 innings.

"The last two times we faced him, his velocity wasn't where it was at earlier in the season," Nationals right fielder Jayson Werth said after Jurrjens' Aug. 1 start against Washington. "I remember him throwing a little bit harder in past years."

The Braves traveled back to Atlanta after Friday night's loss in New York to wait for the Nationals, who finished their series in Cincinnati on Sunday before having an off-day of their own on Monday.

Livan Hernandez (7-12, 4.36 ERA), who's had his fair share of starts against the Braves, will be on the hill for Washington. His 35 career starts against Atlanta are nine more than any other active pitcher.

Taking a tough luck loss in his last start to the Diamondbacks Wednesday, Hernandez gave up four runs on seven hits in 71/3 innings for the loss. He also struck out five and walked only one.

Nationals: Strasburg set for next rehab start
After a dominating performance on Saturday, Nationals right-hander Stephen Strasburg is expected to throw in another Minor League game Thursday. While the location is still unknown, Double-A Harrisburg looks to be the likely spot.

Strasburg will likely be on a 75-80 pitch limit, or six innings.

Saturday in Syracuse, Strasburg threw five perfect innings before being lifted after giving up two singles to open the sixth against Rochester.

Braves: Good news regarding Hanson
Despite revealing a small undersurface rotator cuff tear, the Braves are optimistic about the MRI done on Tommy Hanson's right shoulder on Friday.

The Braves said such an injury is common for pitchers and does not require surgery. The MRI also confirmed that his labrum and the remainder of his shoulder appeared to be structurally sound.

Hanson, who has been sidelined since Aug. 6, will visit with surgeon Dr. James Andrews at his Pensacola, Fla., office on Monday. No timetable has been set for his return.

Worth noting

• With 40 saves, Braves closer Craig Kimbrel is just one away from the Major League record for saves in a single season by a rookie, set by the Rangers' Neftali Feliz last season.

• To make up this weekend's games, the Braves will travel to New York for a Sept. 8 doubleheader on what was originally supposed to be an off-day between series in Philadelphia and St. Louis. Comments