ATLANTA -- After pitching four times in the first eight days after his return from the disabled list, Jonny Venters experienced tenderness again in his left elbow. But a few days of rest had the Braves reliever feeling OK again.
"I'm fine," he said before Sunday's series finale against Houston. "It got a little sore, so they gave me a little time off. It was just a precaution." Venters proved he had no lingering problems by working out of an inherited jam in the sixth inning of the Braves' 6-1 victory over the Astros. He was credited with the win after getting a strikeout with two runners in scoring position, then ending the inning with a forceout after an intentional walk.
Venters was hurried back after just one rehab outing with Triple-A Gwinnett and pitched two scoreless innings at Washington on July 22. He pitched again at Miami on July 25 and worked twice against the Phillies at Turner Field last weekend.
Venters wasn't available for the last few games of the Marlins series and the first two games against the Astros. But he successfully tested the elbow in a throwing session on Saturday.
"He's fine. We've kind of laid off him the last three or four days," manager Fredi Gonzalez said after Saturday night's 3-2 loss to Houston. "Just tender with his elbow a little bit. Nothing major. So we just took a step back."
It has been a disappointing season for Venters, who had a 1.84 ERA in 85 games last year. He was 6-2 with five saves, striking out 96 in 88 innings.
This season, though, his ERA was 3.96 in 44 games and he was 3-3 with no saves. He had struck out 49, but allowed 44 hits in 36 1/3 innings.
Venters went on the disabled list July 5 with what was termed as an elbow impingement. In the four appearances after his return, he had allowed three hits and no runs over four innings while walking two and striking out four.
Jurrjens to start Triple-A rehab stint Monday
ATLANTA -- Right-hander Jair Jurrjens, his future with the Braves in doubt, will begin a rehab assignment with Triple-A Gwinnett, which returns home on Monday for an eight-game homestand.
"All I know is that I'm going out," Jurrjens said Sunday. "I don't know when I'll pitch."
Jurrjens was put on the disabled list Thursday to clear a roster spot for starter Paul Maholm, who was acquired in a trade with the Cubs before the Trade Deadline.
Jurrjens hurt his right groin on Tuesday against Miami as he made his first relief appearance after being demoted from the rotation.
"I slipped and it was tight the next day," Jurrjens said. "Now it feels OK."
Jurrjens was 13-6 with a 2.96 ERA last season and made the All-Star team. But he suffered a knee injury late in the season and has struggled mightily this year.
The right-hander was demoted to Gwinnett in late April after four starts and didn't return until late June.
He pitched well in his first game back at Boston and won his next two decisions as well. But he lost his spot again after being hammered in his next two outings, giving up 14 earned runs in 5 2/3 innings.
Jurrjens is 3-4 with a 6.89 ERA in 11 games.
McCann gets breather; Ross starts behind plate
ATLANTA -- With his bat having cooled off following a torrid stretch, Braves catcher Brian McCann was out of the starting lineup on Sunday to recharge as David Ross caught a day game following a night game.
McCann had gone just 4-for-24 in the homestand, although two of the hits were home runs. Before that, he had hit .309 over a 16-game stretch with seven homers and 16 RBIs. That surge raised his average from .224 to .243.
But McCann was 0-for-8 with five walks over four games after striking out twice and walking twice in Saturday night's 3-2 loss to Houston. That dropped his average back to .236. He had 18 homers and 56 RBIs in 86 games.
Ross took advantage of the opportunity to play Sunday by delivering a solo homer and a single. He also walked, scored three runs and threw out a runner trying to steal.
"Every time we play him, he always seems to come up with a big hit," manager Fredi Gonzalez said.
Ross has six homers and is batting .290 with 13 RBIs in his 28 starts filling in for McCann.
Gonzalez gave McCann a day off on Sunday, third baseman Chipper Jones started his fifth straight game and ninth on the 10-game homestand. Jones was 2-for-4 and had a run-scoring double that moved him into a tie with Goose Goslin for 31st place on the all-time RBI list with 1,609. The third baseman, who scored the go-ahead run Sunday on a wild pitch in the sixth inning, was 11-for-30 on the homestand.
Pastornicky adjusting to less playing time
ATLANTA -- Tyler Pastornicky has played only occasionally since his recall from Triple-A Gwinnett on July 14, but he has done well in his rare appearances.
Pastornicky, who started the season as the Braves' regular shortstop, was 3-for-6 with two walks and delivered a pinch-hit home run against the Marlins on Tuesday to pad a 7-1 victory.
"Pinch-hitting is definitely not easy," the rookie said. "But I've been trying to learn from [Eric Hinske] and follow his routine. He's the best. I just try to be ready for any situation."
Pastornicky had played only four innings defensively since his return, but had taken advantage of the time before games to work at second base and in the outfield. But the Braves envision him as a potential super sub.
"It's definitely an adjustment," Pastornicky said of his limited playing time. "But when I got called back up, I felt a lot more comfortable. There wasn't as much pressure. I felt more relaxed."
Guy Curtright is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.