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ATL@NYY: Heyward smacks two home runs in Braves' win

Jair Jurrjens' audition to regain his spot in the Braves' rotation begins Friday night at Fenway Park.

A National League All-Star last season, Jurrjens was demoted to the Minor Leagues in April following a rough start, but he will be recalled as a fill-in for the injured Brandon Beachy and will take the mound for Atlanta as it starts a three-game Interleague series in Boston.

Beachy underwent successful Tommy John surgery on Thursday after meeting with Dr. James Andrews on Wednesday about the partially torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow.

Considering Beach will likely miss about a year, Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said Jurrjens' status was "not a one-and-go situation," but he also said he would have to pitch well to stay in the rotation.

"I'm curious to see him pitch, obviously not under these circumstances -- where somebody gets hurt -- but it's good to have a guy who made the All-Star Game last year," Gonzalez said. "This could be a big pickup if he goes back to the form he had last year."

It will be Jurrjens' first Major League outing since April 23, when he surrendered five earned runs on nine hits in three innings against the Dodgers. The 26-year-old right-hander lasted no longer than five innings and gave up at least seven hits in all four of his starts before being sent to Triple-A Gwinnett.

Jurrjens (0-2, 9.37 ERA) went 13-6 with a 2.97 ERA last season, but he missed the final month with a knee injury, then posted a 5.81 ERA in Spring Training. He was 3-4 with a 5.18 ERA in 10 starts for Gwinnett, recording 30 strikeouts and 14 walks while allowing seven home runs.

"He's made some progress," Gonzalez said. "His velocity has been up. ... There is some separation with his changeup. We'll give it a shot."

Jurrjens is 0-1 with a 3.14 ERA in two career starts against the Red Sox, both in 2009.

Jurrjens will be countered by Boston's Jon Lester. This season has been a frustrating one for Lester, who has endured a pair of seven-run starts that have driven up his ERA.

The results have improved of late, with the two-time All-Star left-hander sporting a 3.66 ERA in three June starts, with 22 strikeouts and four walks in 19 2/3 innings.

On Saturday at Wrigley Field, Lester held the Cubs to three runs in 6 2/3 innings, striking out eight. Chicago did all its damage on Luis Valbuena's three-run homer in the seventh.

"I threw 102 pitches, and one was a mistake," Lester said afterward. "It's still frustrating. I started the game with a couple of hard-hit line drives. [Dustin Pedroia] made a great play on the double play there in the first inning to get me out of that inning. But, really, other than that, you look at the hits they had, a couple of flares to right, there were three infield hits. I've got to take that positive from the bad contact."

Braves: Heyward heading upward
• The Braves had lost seven of eight games before beating the Yankees on Tuesday and Wednesday, but outfielder Jason Heyward has been on a tear.

The 22-year-old is batting .351 in June with five doubles, four homers and six multihit games. He's also riding a seven-game hitting streak.

"Jason, for the past five days to a week, has probably swung the bat as well as anybody in the lineup," third baseman Chipper Jones said after Tuesday's game. "He's been a tough out against lefties, hanging in there. He's hit the ball the other way into the gaps. We all know what kind of talent he has. He's a five-tool player if healthy. That's been the main thing so far."

• The Braves have won six of their last seven road contests, making them 22-15 away from Turner Field this season. That .595 winning percentage is second in the NL to the Nationals' .606 (20-13).

Red Sox: Crawford hoping to make rehab assignment on Saturday
• Carl Crawford, who has yet to play in a game in the Majors this season, may play in a Gulf Coast League game on Saturday in Fort Myers, Fla.

Crawford underwent left wrist surgery over the winter, and he was expected to return to the Red Sox by late April or early May. But during the course of rehabbing his wrist, Crawford developed a UCL sprain in his left elbow.

Crawford's recent progress has the Red Sox hopeful he could be back in Boston soon.

"Carl might play in a game [Saturday]," said Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine. "If he felt as good today and in Florida as he did [Wednesday], he's going to DH [on Saturday].

• Reliever Andrew Bailey threw a bullpen session on Wednesday, his first since right thumb surgery on April 4.

Bailey, who was projected to be Boston's closer after coming to town in a trade from the Athletics in December, will throw another bullpen session before Friday's game. Once the Red Sox leave for a West Coast trip next week, he will head back to Fort Myers, Fla.

Worth noting
• The Braves are 27-24 since the teams first met in Interleague Play in 1997, but the Red Sox won four of six the last time they met, in 2009.

• The Red Sox are slugging .633 against Jurrjens, but in only 53 plate appearances. David Ortiz has homered twice against him, while Adrian Gonzalez and Cody Ross have one apiece. Comments