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Fried throws side session, likely for next start

Biddle, Venters making progress in Triple-A
@JakeDRill
May 9, 2019

PHOENIX -- On Tuesday, Braves left-hander Max Fried exited his start against the Dodgers after he was struck by a line drive on his left hand. By Wednesday, the southpaw was playing catch and feeling fine as the swelling went down. And on Thursday, Fried cleared a major checkpoint in

PHOENIX -- On Tuesday, Braves left-hander Max Fried exited his start against the Dodgers after he was struck by a line drive on his left hand. By Wednesday, the southpaw was playing catch and feeling fine as the swelling went down.

And on Thursday, Fried cleared a major checkpoint in his progress, throwing a side session before the Braves’ series opener against the D-backs at Chase Field.

That means the lefty is on track to make his next scheduled start in Sunday’s series finale at Arizona.

“He was great, everything went really well, he did everything and everything’s going for him starting on Sunday,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said. “He had a really good side, it didn’t bother him a bit.”

Fried’s hand was struck by an Alex Verdugo liner in Tuesday’s loss to the Dodgers. He came out of the game, but X-rays were negative and he was optimistic by Wednesday that he wouldn’t miss a start.

Fried allowed four runs on four hits and departed after one-plus innings in Los Angeles, taking his second loss of the season. However, it was a rare off outing for the left-hander this year, as he’s 4-2 with a 2.97 ERA in nine games (seven starts).

On Sunday, Fried will look to repeat the success he had against the D-backs on April 16, when he tossed six innings of two-run ball -- one of his five quality starts this season.

Rehab updates

Left-hander Jesse Biddle (right thigh contusion, right groin strain) made his third rehab appearance for Triple-A Gwinnett on Thursday, tossing a scoreless inning and striking out two. He has pitched four scoreless innings, allowing only one hit while striking out five, in three rehab outings for Gwinnett.

Biddle has been on the 10-day injured list since April 27, but he appears to be getting closer to a return to the Braves’ bullpen. The southpaw posted a 3.18 ERA in 14 appearances for Atlanta prior to the injury.

“He’s throwing the ball over,” Snitker said. “Things are going good for him.”

Fellow lefty Jonny Venters also continues to make rehab appearances at Triple-A while working back from a right calf strain, which put him on the 10-day injured list on April 15.

Venters pitched a scoreless inning for Gwinnett on Wednesday and has allowed only three hits over seven scoreless frames spanning seven appearances.

Like Biddle, Venters is on a good track to make a return from the injured list.

Jake Rill is a reporter/editor for MLB.com based in Phoenix. Follow him on Twitter @JakeDRill.