Scoreless relief stint a great way to return for Tim Byrdak
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ATLANTA - Tim Byrdak officially completed his arduous comeback from major shoulder surgery. One day after returning to the major leagues as a September call-up, the lefthander threw 11/3 shutout innings Monday in the Mets' 13-5 loss to the Braves.
"To come back and do all that hard work and have it pay off, it feels great," he said.
Byrdak had not appeared in a game since Aug. 1, 2012. He was diagnosed with a torn capsule in his left shoulder, an injury so severe that it jeopardized the 39-year-old's chances of pitching in the big leagues again.
"You don't know what's going to happen," he said. "You've worked hard to get back to this level and you want to get as many outs as you can up here."
The Mets signed him so he could rehab after surgery last September.
With a string of lefthanded hitters due up for the Braves in the fourth inning, Terry Collins called upon Byrdak, who allowed only a single in the fourth in relief of Daisuke Matsuzaka.
Byrdak retired Brian McCann, the only batter he faced in the fifth, before being replaced by Gonzalez Germen.
"Timmy Byrdak was a big part of this team for two years," Collins said. "It was great to see him back and see him out there competing. We're going to need his presence in our clubhouse, too, because he can lighten things up real fast."
Ike Davis said his goodbyes in the Mets' clubhouse after the loss. Davis, who injured his rib cage Saturday, is slated to be examined in New York Tuesday. It's possible he will begin his rehab away from the team . . . In his first appearance since his call-up Sunday, infielder Zach Lutz doubled off the top of the centerfield fence to knock in a run. He pinch hit for Matsuzaka in the fourth . . . Wilmer Flores walked and scored a run in his first start at third base since Friday. He has been limited while nursing sore ankles . . . Vic Black needed only two 97-mph fastballs in his Mets debut to get a fly ball and escape an inherited bases-loaded jam.