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Braves Pitcher Gavin Floyd Injures Elbow Against Nationals

June 20, 2014

Washington, D.C. -- It had the makings of a memorable night for Gavin Floyd. 

Floyd, a right-handed pitcher for the Atlanta Braves, was pitching not far from his home hometown of Severna Park, Md., and he added to the occasion by making right-handed batters of the Washington Nationals look foolish. 

Through the first six innings at Nationals Park June 19, Floyd got several Nationals batters to swing at his 81-mph curveball, which was several inches outside of the strike zone.

A former standout at Mount St. Joseph High School in Baltimore, Floyd missed most of the 2013 season while recovering from elbow problems while with the Chicago White Sox. The Braves signed him during the offseason, even though it would be at least May until he could pitch in the majors this year.

Floyd, 31, started the game against Washington by pitching six scoreless innings, then had to leave the game after he threw one pitch in the top of the seventh to Jayson Werth. He summoned medical staff to the mound, and he left the game, with his team winning, 2-0.

It was later learned that Floyd had fractured his olecranon, a bone in his elbow. He was credited with the win during the 3-0 decision, but it appears Floyd may be finished for the year.

"I thought it was scar tissue or something," Floyd said. "It wasn't painful. Knowing that I'll be out for a little bit, it's disappointing that I can't be with the team and help out." 

Floyd threw 64 pitches, getting the first 18 outs against the Nationals, a team he had pitched against in the nation's capital when he was with the White Sox.

Floyd improved to 2-2 as he gave up two hits and lowered his ERA to 2.65. The Atlanta bullpen got the last nine outs against Washington.

Floyd was a first-round draft pick by the Philadelphia Phillies in 2001 out of Mount St. Joe and grew up in the same Severna Park neighborhood as Mark Teixeira, a first baseman for the New York Yankees. Teixeira has also battled injuries this year.

Floyd is 72-72 during his career with an ERA of 4.40 during 208 games, with 196 starts with the Phillies, White Sox and Braves. Floyd was a regular starter for the White Sox from 2008-12.

"It's one pitch," Atlanta manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "What a shame. The guy comes all the way back from Tommy John [surgery]. It's two different things -- one doesn't affect the other. I feel for the young man." 

"In the big picture, I think he's going to be OK. Let's let him fly back to Atlanta and let our guys look at it. We have to wait for the whole thing. I just spent some time with him, and he's in a good mood -- the best mood as you can be." 

Meanwhile, the Braves improved to 6-1 against Washington this year, and Atlanta has won 19 of the last 26 games between the two teams.

"I don't know what it is at this point," said Washington first baseman Adam LaRoche, a former Atlanta player. "Between them and St. Louis, just kind of snakebit." 

All three runs were driven in by Atlanta third baseman Chris Johnson, the son of Norfolk Tides Triple-A manager Ron Johnson. Atlanta outfielder B.J. Upton, from the Tidewater region of Virginia, was hitless in five at bats, and his brother, Justin, was retired as a pinch hitter for the Braves.

The series will continue at 7:05 p.m. June 20 as Washington's Stephen Strasburg (6-5, 3.06 ERA) will face Mike Minor (2-4, 4.42). The June 21 game will begin at 7:15 p.m. and will be broadcast nationally by Fox. The series finale will be at 1:35 p.m. June 22.

Doug Fister (5-2, 3.08) will start for the Nationals June 21 against Atlanta's Julio Teheran (6-4, 2.31). The starting pitchers for the series finale June 22 will be Washington's Tanner Roark (6-4, 2.85) against Ervin Santana (5-4, 4.12) of the Braves.