06/12/12 11:40 PM ET
Elbow soreness sidelines O'Flaherty
By Mark Bowman and Teddy Cahill / MLB.com
"He woke up [Monday] morning a little sore, and we backed off on him," Gonzalez said. "We might have to [wait] three or four more days. We're trying to stay away from him."
O'Flaherty has not pitched since June 8. He has been one of the Braves' most reliable relievers for the past two years. This season, O'Flaherty has a 3.97 ERA and has struck out 20 batters in 22 2/3 innings.
With O'Flaherty out on Tuesday, Gonzalez turned to left-hander Jonny Venters with the Braves leading, 4-0, and a runner on first with one out in the eighth inning. Venters gave up a single and a walk to load the bases for Alex Rodriguez, who tied the game with a grand slam.
Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano followed with a single, and Gonzalez brought in rookie right-hander Cory Gearrin to face Nick Swisher, a switch-hitter. Batting left-handed, Swisher launched a go-ahead two-run home run.
Beachy's elbow feels strong after session
ATLANTA -- Braves right-hander Brandon Beachy said his right elbow felt fine after he threw a light bullpen session on Tuesday. Beachy was scheduled to start Wednesday's series finale against the Yankees, but the Braves announced on Monday that they plan to bump him back to Saturday.
Manager Fredi Gonzalez said he's not worried about Beachy.
"He had a little sore [elbow] going, and we didn't want to take a [chance]," Gonzalez said. "He's fine."
Beachy has been the Braves' best starter this season. He leads the Major Leagues with a 1.98 ERA and has a 0.99 WHIP. After two solid months, Beachy said he's not opposed to receiving some extra rest.
"Can't hurt," Beachy said. "I want to be out there as often as I can, but I'm not going to complain about getting a couple extra days of rest."
Beachy is scheduled to throw another bullpen session on Wednesday.
Medlen stretched out after latest start in Minors
ATLANTA -- When the Braves sent Kris Medlen to the Minor Leagues last month with the intention of converting him from a reliever to a starter, manager Fredi Gonzalez said the right-hander would need at least three starts to stretch out.
In Pawtucket, R.I., on Tuesday, Medlen made his third start with Triple-A Gwinnett, and after throwing 97 pitches, he is stretched out. But whether Medlen will be inserted into the Braves' rotation remains to be seen.
"He's done great," Gonzalez said of Medlen on Tuesday afternoon. "Hopefully, he goes out and throws lights-out, and we'll see what we can do. We can bring him back as a starter or put him back in the 'pen."
Against Pawtucket, Medlen allowed three runs on six hits in six innings. He walked four batters and struck out four. In 13 1/3 innings with Gwinnett, Medlen has a 4.73 ERA with 12 strikeouts and six walks.
In Atlanta, left-hander Mike Minor made his best start of the season on Tuesday, shutting down the Yankees for 7 1/3 innings in a 6-4 loss. Should Medlen return to the Braves as a starter, he would likely replace Minor or right-hander Randall Delgado. After Tuesday's game, Gonzalez said that any decision about Medlen would come later.
"I haven't really checked," Gonzalez said. "Let's not take anything away from Mikey today, because he did a terrific job."
Mutual admiration between Chipper and Jeter
ATLANTA -- When Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter struggled during the early days of his professional career, he kept himself focused by remembering that Chipper Jones had done the same a few years earlier. Approximately 20 years later, Jeter still has the utmost respect for the Braves' third baseman.
"Chipper, what can you say? He's a Hall of Famer," Jeter said. "He's someone who is going to go down as one of the greatest players in the history of the game. He's been as good as anybody in baseball, especially since I got here to this level."
With Jones planning to retire at the end of this season, Jeter took time before Tuesday night's game at Turner Field to talk about the third baseman. Barring a meeting between the Braves and Yankees in the World Series for the third time during the careers of Jones and Jeter, the last time they will compete against each other will be when the Braves visit Yankee Stadium for a three-game series next week.
"When you watch him play, he just looks like he should be playing baseball," Jeter said. "I don't know how to explain it; he just looks like a baseball player. The way he carries himself and the way he runs and the way he swings, everything about him just defines a baseball player in my mind."
Jones admits he was somewhat jealous of Jeter when the Yankees won three World Series titles, two at the expense of the Braves, during the late 1990s. But once he had the chance to play with Jeter during the 2006 and '09 World Baseball Classics, Jones came to see the Yankees' captain in a different light.
"I've grown to respect him a lot over the past 10-15 years, not just for the player he is, but for the person he is," Jones said. "He's humble beyond belief. This guy has the world by the tail. He's the captain of the Yankees. He's won a thousand championships. He's played in the World Series seemingly every year. He's got every right to have his head in the clouds, and he doesn't."
After not starting him for the second time in three days against a left-handed starter, Gonzalez told Jason Heyward that he was not planning to start platooning him with Matt Diaz. Gonzalez said his decision to sit Heyward on Tuesday was based on the fact that Diaz had five hits in nine career at-bats against Yankees starter CC Sabathia.
In the bottom of the first, Diaz made the decision pay off, hitting a three-run double to put the Braves on the board first.
Former Braves star and current Yankees outfielder Andruw Jones arranged to have his picture taken with Atlanta shortstop Andrelton Simmons on Tuesday afternoon. Both players are from Curacao.
"People down there are real excited about this kid," Jones said of Simmons.
Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. Teddy Cahill is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.