ATLANTA -- Gavin Floyd's debut with the Atlanta Braves could hardly have gone better. Now the veteran right-hander is out to show that his first game after Tommy John elbow surgery wasn't a mirage.
Floyd will face the Giants in San Francisco on Monday night as the Braves try to atone for three straight losses at home against them to start May.
Although he didn't get the victory, Floyd helped the Braves break a seven-game losing streak with seven strong innings against St. Louis on Tuesday about exactly a year after undergoing surgery while with the Chicago White Sox.
"You're always wondering what is going to happen and how you're going to feel," Floyd said. "There's always a high level of excitement and energy. My concern going in was to try to bottle that up as much as possible to stay calm, stay focused."
Floyd held the Cardinals to a run while throwing 104 pitches in an outing that was longer and more effective than even the Braves had hoped.
"I didn't expect that really," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "I expected a guy that's going to scuffle through five, six innings first time out, all that kind of stuff. But he sure passed with flying colors. You can't ask for anything more."
Floyd's start came as a fill-on for Ervin Santana, who was skipped because of a bruised thumb. With Santana healthy, the Braves have an extra starter and Alex Wood will spend time in the bullpen before getting a start next weekend in St. Louis.
Gonzalez said that Floyd, who has a 70-70 career record as a starter, isn't a relief option.
"He's one guy that would not go to the bullpen, I don't think, just because of the Tommy John," Gonzalez said. "We all know how the bullpen thing is. You get up, you get down, you go in, you don't go in. I don't want to do that to him."
Floyd had his ups and downs in six minor league rehab starts, but didn't falter against the Cardinals.
"I feel like through this whole process, things have been progressing and getting better every time I throw," he said. "I was confident in what I could do."