Braves get positive update on Austin Riley, Reynaldo Lopez exits early

Braves Austin Riley

The Braves got back to their winning ways on Monday night against the Cubs. Carried once again by their pitching staff, Reynaldo Lopez led the way, lowering his ERA to 1.34 after five scoreless innings, allowing just a couple of hits and a couple of walks on 71 pitches.

His exit heading into the sixth inning was quite a surprise, given the Cubs had next to no success against him and it was still a scoreless ball game. However, Brian Snitker said after the win that it was back tightness that led to his removal as a precaution. The expectation is that Lopez will make his next scheduled start.

The last thing the Braves need is another injury, especially to their starting rotation, a unit that is already without Spencer Strider for the rest of the season. To this point, the Braves have been outstanding without their ace, but it’s a slippery slope once injuries begin to pile up. Hopefully, Lopez will be back on the mound within the week. He’s a key reason why the Braves are 25-13 on the season despite a struggling offense.

After the game, Brian Snitker also provided a positive injury update on Austin Riley. The Braves third baseman was not in the lineup Monday after exiting Sunday’s game early with soreness in his midsection. Riley woke up sore again this morning, which led to an MRI that revealed nothing more than inflammation. It looks like he’ll avoid the IL and be back in the lineup sooner rather than later.

Photo: Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire

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