Braves says Smoltz Exit a Precaution

MILWAUKEE (AP) - Atlanta right-hander John Smoltz left his start against the Milwaukee Brewers in the fourth inning.

The team says Smoltz was removed as a precaution after feeling a tweak in his pitching shoulder while warming up for the inning and re-injuring his right pinkie finger. He was replaced by Oscar Villarreal.

Smoltz shook his right hand after he broke his bat with a hit in the fourth and was looking at his fingers. Smoltz dislocated his right pinky May 14th while making a tag against Washington.

It was Smoltz's shortest outing since June 23rd of last season. He was replaced by Oscar Villarreal.

Smoltz hadn't been as sharp before exiting, but was still effective. He threw 40 of his 58 pitches for strikes, but gave up eight hits and three runs while striking out five.

Smoltz is 7-and-2 with a 2.82 E-R-A. He picked up his 200th win last week and came into the start against the Brewers with a 14-inning scoreless streak.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)