At least Braves’ bullpen is better

The Braves still aren't start scoring many runs, getting long outings from their starting pitchers or winning many games. But at least it appears they've stabilized the bullpen.

Rookie Hunter Cervenka has emerged as a viable left-handed specialist with veteran Eric O’Flaherty struggling. Hard-throwing right-hander Alexi Ogando has been reliable and Jason Grilli seems to be rounding into form.

“I think Ogando has kind of emerged as that sixth, seventh inning guy that can give you a chance to get to the other guys in the bullpen,” Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. “Hunter has done a nice job getting those left-handers out. Grilli his last couple times out has been the Grilli that we’ve seen before.”

Cervenka pitched 1 1/3 scoreless innings against the Mets on Sunday and hasn’t allowed a run in seven appearances. His seven scoreless innings to begin his big-league career are the most for a Braves pitcher since Shae Simmons did the same in 2014.

Ogando allowed no runs and struck out three against the Mets and has a 2.38 ERA with nine strikeouts over 11 1/3 innings. He’s allowed a total of one earned run in his past four appearances (four innings).

Grilli said he was “rusty” after he had a 9.00 ERA following a blown save against the Marlins on April 17 and a loss against the Dodgers on Wednesday. He’s pitched two scoreless innings in two outings since then.