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Game Thread: Brault against the Braves at PNC

MLB: Los Angeles Dodgers at Pittsburgh Pirates Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Pirates’ left-hander Steven Brault (2-1, 5.87), coming off 5 13 shutout innings at Cincinnati last week, will make his fourth start of the year as Pittsburgh plays the Atlanta Braves for the first time this year. Game time is 7:05 p.m. Eastern, with left-hander Max Fried (7-3, 3.19) going for the Braves.

The 25 year old Fried is in his first full season in the majors after brief appearances with the Braves in 2017 and 2018. He was obtained from the Padres before the 2015 season while still in A-ball as part of the Justin Upton deal. Recovering from Tommy John surgery at the time of the trade, Fried then missed all of 2015.

In 121 23 career innings, including 20 starts and 16 relief appearances, Fried has a 3.25 ERA with 3.6 walks and 9.0 strikeouts per 9 innings. He throws a four-seam fastball that averages just a tick under 94 mph along with a curve, barely throwing any other pitches.

Fried is tough on left-handed batters, allowing just a .590 OPS this year on a 238/304/286 line, while right-handers are nearer average with a 725 OPS (256/306/416)

Josh Bell will miss his first start of the year as Jose Osuna takes a turn at first base. Gregory Polanco will also not face the left-hander, with Melky Cabrera in right field, and Kevin Newman will slide over to third base in place of the lefty swinging Colin Moran.

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BRAVES

1 R Ronald Acuna CF

2 R Dansby Swanson SS

3 L Freddie Freeman 1B

4 R Josh Donaldson 3B

5 L Nick Markakis RF

6 R Austin Riley LF

7 S Ozzie Albies 2B

8 R Tyler Flowers C

9 L Max Fried LHP

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PIRATES

1 R Kevin Newman 3B

2 S Bryan Reynolds LF

3 R Starling Marte CF

4 S Melky Cabrera RF

5 R Elias Diaz C

6 R Jose Osuna 1B

7 S Cole Tucker SS

8 L Adam Frazier 2B

9 L Steven Brault LHP