Lowe, Gonzalez leave early for Braves
Starter has ring finger blister; lefty reliever has sore back
ATLANTA -- On the way to claiming their 6-5 walk-off win over the Mets at Turner Field on Wednesday night, the Braves were forced to see both Derek Lowe and Mike Gonzalez make early exits.
Lowe's start was limited to two innings because of a blister that formed on his right ring finger. Gonzalez exited with a stiff back after allowing the Mets to gain a short-lived lead with Omir Santos' eighth-inning solo homer.
The Braves are hopeful that Lowe will make his next start. As for Gonzalez, they're going to remain hopeful that he is able to overcome the back discomfort that he began experiencing this past weekend in St. Louis.
"We called down there in the fifth or sixth inning to see if we could count on him and he said, 'I'm fine,'" Braves manager Bobby Cox said. "When he got out there, he wasn't fine. So I guess it's day-to-day."
Lowe began to feel the blister as he was warming up and he opted to close the abrasion with Super Glue. But the adhesive substance wasn't holding during New York's three-run second inning. Thus, the Braves decided it was best to shut down their veteran sinkerballer with the hope that his ailment will be healed by the time he makes his next scheduled start on Monday against the Mets at Citi Field.
"I think he'll be all right for his next start," Cox said. "We'll see."
If Lowe is forced to miss his next scheduled start, the Braves may opt to move Kenshin Kawakami back into the rotation. Kawakami allowed one run and five hits in two innings against the Mets on Wednesday night. It was just his third relief appearance since his most recent start on Aug. 31.
Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.