Braves strengthen bullpen with trade for Angels reliever Scott Downs

Monday July 29th, 2013

Scott Downs had been the Angels' most consistent reliever in 2013. Scott Downs had been the Angels' most consistent reliever in 2013. (R. Yeatts/Getty Images)

The Atlanta Braves' hunt for a left-handed reliever has resulted in a trade. The Braves announced via Twitter a trade with the Los Angeles Angels, bringing reliever Scott Downs to Atlanta in exchange for right-handed pitcher Cory Rasmus.

Downs, 37, had been the Angels' most consistent reliever this season, making 29 consecutive appearances without giving up a run -- one shy of the franchise record set by Francisco Rodriguez in 2006. Downs' streak ended Saturday when A's pinch-hitter Derek Norris hit a two-run homer on his first pitch of the seventh inning. The three-run inning capped a come-from-behind win for the AL West-leading A's and dropped the Angels 12 games back.

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After the game, Downs talked about the type of pitcher he needs to be. From the Los Angeles Times:

"It doesn't happen very often, but when you're not a velocity guy and you leave the ball up and over the middle to good hitters, that's what happens," said Downs, who hadn't given up a home run since Seattle's Justin Smoak took him deep Sept. 25. "I'm about location, changing speeds."

Downs' 2013 statistics remain impressive even after Saturday's setback, with 18 holds, a 1.84 ERA and a 1.26 WHIP.

Cory Rasmus, the younger brother to Toronto Blue Jays centerfielder Colby Rasmus, has pitched primarily as a Triple-A closer this season after making his major-league debut in May. He was called up again in June. The Braves acquired him 38th overall in the 2006 draft.

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