Braves send Max Fried to mound, look to narrow Mets’ division lead

MLB Baseball

The Atlanta Braves hope Max Fried will return from his second trip to the injured list and find the same success he did the first time he came back.

The left-hander will start the second game of the three-game series against the visiting New York Mets on Wednesday night. Fried (4-4, 4.21 ERA) will oppose New York lefty David Peterson (2-5, 4.95).

Fried will try to reverse Atlanta’s fortunes against the Mets. New York is 6-3 against Atlanta this season and overcame a 3-0 deficit for a 4-3 victory on Tuesday in the series opener.

Fried was on the injured list from April 14 to May 5 because of a right-hamstring strain. Upon his return, he recorded a quality start in six of his seven outings.

In his most recent start on June 18 against St. Louis, Fried pitched seven innings, allowed one run on two hits and got the win in the 9-1 game. Fried was placed on the IL afterward because of a blister on his left index finger and missed one start.

“He could have pitched if this was a playoff situation or something like that,” Atlanta manager Brian Snitker said. “We just wanted to get ahead of it and not create more trouble for ourselves if we pushed him.”

Fried will make his 15th appearance against the Mets, his 10th start. He is 3-2 with a 2.73 ERA in his career against New York. His last win against the Mets came on Sept. 18, 2020, when he gave up one run in five innings.

Peterson has started eight games that have been decided by one run, including his most recent start and seven starts in a row from April 27 to June 2.

In his start on Friday against Philadelphia, he allowed six innings of one-run ball, giving up three hits in a game the Mets won 2-1 in extra innings.

“It’s his secondary pitches for strikes that’s helping,” New York manager Luis Rojas said. “He’s worked hard on those secondary (pitches) to throw them for a strike, and he’s translated that into the games in his last three outings. I’m very proud of him.”

Peterson is 1-1 with a 3.78 ERA in three career starts against the Braves. He last faced them on May 19 and gave up three runs over 4 2/3 innings of a 5-4 loss.

New York enters the game in first place in the National League East, three games ahead of the Washington Nationals and 5 1/2 in front of the Braves. Atlanta has won the division the past three seasons.

Mets catcher James McCann, who delivered the game-tying, three-run homer on Tuesday, has driven in 16 runs with four homers and five doubles and is hitting .286 in June.

New York added left-hander Thomas Szapucki, 25, to the roster from Triple-A Syracuse and designated right-hander Jerad Eickhoff for assignment on Tuesday. Szapucki will make his major-league debut when he first enters a game. He was 0-3 with a 4.41 ERA in eight appearances with Syracuse.

–Field Level Media

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