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Jun 5, 2024 2:34 am

Spencer Schwellenbach, Braves shoot for sweep of Red Sox

Spencer Schwellenbach, Braves

Atlanta right-hander Spencer Schwellenbach will make his second major league start Wednesday afternoon when the Braves visit the Boston Red Sox for the back half of a two-game series.

Schwellenbach (0-1, 5.40 ERA) was promoted from Double-A Mississippi to make his major league debut on May 29 against the Washington Nationals. He allowed three runs on five hits in five innings, struck out five and walked one in a 7-2 loss. Sixty of his 88 pitches were strikes.

“I thought his stuff was real good,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said postgame. “He handled himself really well. The composure, slowing the game down. I thought he was very impressive.”

Travis d’Arnaud might catch Schwellenbach for the second outing in a row as Sean Murphy left Atlanta’s 8-3 victory on Tuesday with a right elbow injury after being hit by a pitch in the ninth inning. X-rays were negative, and Murphy believes he will avoid going on the injury list.

“Just a big, gross lump,” Murphy said. “It looks worse than it is. (The swelling) will go down quick, so I’m not worried about it.”

The Braves received home runs from Ozzie Albies and Orlando Arcia during the victory at Boston. Albies hit a three-run shot against Boston starter Kutter Crawford that gave Atlanta a 6-3 lead in the sixth inning.

“Just got to make better pitches,” Crawford said. “Just kind of going through a rut right now, but we’re just going to keep fighting.”

Atlanta starter Max Fried struck out a career-high 13 batters in seven innings on Tuesday. The Red Sox fanned 14 times in the defeat.

“He’s one of the best,” Red Sox manager Alex Cora said of Fried. “He does that every five days.”

In his past three starts, Fried has 28 strikeouts in 24 innings. He walked two and allowed three earned runs in that span.

“I feel like I had a really good feel of the slider, and my curveball was probably the best it has been all year,” Fried said.

Now the Red Sox will face Schwellenbach, whom the Braves selected in the second round of the 2021 draft out of the University of Nebraska. Schwellenbach, 24, won the John Olerud Award as the best two-way player in college baseball. The Braves drafted him as a pitcher, but he had Tommy John surgery before his first professional appearance.

Nick Pivetta (2-4, 4.08) is scheduled to start for Boston. The right-hander took a 5-0 loss to the Detroit Tigers on Thursday. He gave up two runs on three hits and two walks in 5 1/3 innings while striking out nine, including eight in a row at one point to tie the franchise record.

Pivetta also took the loss when the Braves beat the Red Sox 5-0 on May 8. It was his first appearance since April 3, after which he went on the injured list with a right elbow strain. He gave up five runs on seven hits in four innings at Atlanta.

Pivetta is 7-5 with a 5.30 ERA in 20 career appearances (16 starts) vs. the Braves.

The Red Sox are 0-3 against the Braves this season.

–Field Level Media

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