published Thursday, April 11th, 2013

Braves get Ayala from Baltimore


Baltimore Orioles relief pitcher Luis Ayala throws to the Detroit Tigers during their game in Baltimore in this July 13, 2012, file photo. The Atlanta Braves have bolstered their bullpen depth by acquiring Ayala on Wednesday, April 10, 2013, from the Orioles, for a minor league pitcher Chris Jones.
Baltimore Orioles relief pitcher Luis Ayala throws to the Detroit Tigers during their game in Baltimore in this July 13, 2012, file photo. The Atlanta Braves have bolstered their bullpen depth by acquiring Ayala on Wednesday, April 10, 2013, from the Orioles, for a minor league pitcher Chris Jones.
Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

ATLANTA — The Atlanta Braves bolstered their bullpen depth Wednesday by acquiring right-handed reliever Luis Ayala from the Baltimore Orioles for a minor-leaguer

The Braves sent left-handed pitcher Chris Jones to the Orioles. Jones, 24, was pitching at Double-A Mississippi.

Ayala, 35, was 5-5 with one save in three chances and a 2.64 ERA in 66 games with the Orioles in 2012. He had a 2.09 ERA in 52 games with the Yankees in 2011. Ayala is 1-0 this season, allowing two runs in two innings with Baltimore.

Ayala restores experience and depth to an Atlanta bullpen that is expected to be without left-hander Jonny Venters for at least another month. Venters was shut down on April 2 after receiving an injection in his sprained left shoulder.

Venters, on the 15-day disabled list, had been one of the team's top setup men for closer Craig Kimbrel. Venters received the injection after he was examined by Dr. James Andrews, who performed ligament-replacement surgery on Venters' elbow in 2005.

Braves general manager Frank Wren said he would have traded for Ayala even if Venters was healthy.

Wren said the Braves will make a roster move on Friday, when Ayala is expected to join the team for the start of a series in Washington.

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