LOS ANGELES -- A rash of injuries has paved the way for outfielder Jeff Francoeur to return to the Atlanta Braves after last just three games in the minor leagues.
Last weekend's series against the Houston Astros proved to be costly. By the time the Braves finished a 17 inning marathon finale on Sunday, Atlanta had lost infielder Omar Infante and pitcher Manny Acosta to hamstring strains in the eventual 7-6 win. Both men will join pitcher Jeff Bennett, who injured his shoulder on a throw to first base on Saturday, on the 15-day disabled list.
Francoeur turned in a four-hit perfomance against the Chattanooga Lookouts on Sunday, and hit .578 during his weekend stay with Double-A Mississippi. He will join the Braves in L.A. as they open a series with the Dodgers on Monday.
Because he is replacing an injured player, Francoeur did not have to stay in the minors for the mandatory 10 days. Francoeur was hitting .234 with eight homers and 41 RBI before being optioned to Double-A on Friday.
Infielder Brent Lillibridge and pitcher Vladimir Nunez will take the two remaining roster spots. This will be the third stint for Lillibridge and the first for Nunez this season. Both men were playing for Triple-A Richmond.
Nunez, 33, saved 20 games with the Marlins in 2002 before arm injuries derailed his career. In 34 relief appearances this season, Nunez is 3-0 with three saves and a 3.08 ERA. He last pitched in the Majors with the Colorado Rockies in 2004.
Lillibridge, 24, has gone 4-for-26 in nine games with the Braves this season, primarily serving as a shortstop while Yunel Escobar was nursing a sore shoulder. Like Francoeur, Lillibridge was recently sent out but is allowed to return to replace an injury. The Braves optioned Lillibridge to Triple-A to make room for Martin Prado, who returned from a stint on the disabled list on Thursday.