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Downs fractures finger on non-pitching hand

Braves hopeful lefty reliever won't be sidelined by injury

PHILADELPHIA -- Braves reliever Scott Downs suffered a non-displaced fracture of the ring finger on his glove hand Saturday night, courtesy of a seventh-inning Chase Utley smash back to the box.

According to manager Fredi Gonzalez, some bandaging and pain tolerance will enable Downs to keep pitching, sooner rather than later.

"We will play it by ear," said Gonzalez. "I think he can put his hand in his glove, with a little bit of a splint, or tape it up and it will be fine.

"He said he will see how it feels tomorrow and go from there."

Downs recovered quickly enough to break for first, but not to beat Utley to the bag. The lefty, who has not allowed an earned run in 44 of his last 47 outings (1.50 ERA), was immediately replaced by David Carpenter, who got the last out of the inning.

Jay Greenberg is a contributor to
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