Duvall starts and hits fifth; Inciarte rests

Duvall, acquired Monday from the Reds, hit fifth in the lineup. He started in left field, shifting Ronald Acuna to center and putting Ender Inciarte on the bench.

The Braves said that would be their plan against lefties, and the Mets starting southpaw Jason Vargas gave them their first opportunity to test out a new lineup.

Duvall finished 0-for-3 with a walk and run scored.

“I know what he can do,” manager Brian Snitker said. “It’s pretty good, I’ve seen him do it. I don’t think we can sit on this guy. We need to get him out there because he brings so much to the table.”

Vargas pitched five innings, allowing four runs, and Johan Camargo’s two-run double was the difference in the Braves’ win 4-2.

Vargas owned an 8.36 ERA across 10 starts. It was his second outing since returning from a calf strain that sidelined him for over a month. 

Duvall, 29, adds to the Braves’ defense and power potential. He’s regarded as excellent in the field, as is Acuna, lessening (if not eliminating) the blow of losing Inciarte’s gold-glove efforts.

Snitker opted to lift Duvall with a two-run lead in the eighth. Inciarte was inserted at center and Acuna kicked back to left.

“I told Adam, ‘This isn’t any reflection on you. We’re going to double switch here, and we’ve got a guy with a lot of gold sitting in there,’” Snitker said. “Adam’s one of those guys who’s in the final voting for gold gloves too. He gets it.”

In need of right-handed power, the Braves sent outfielder Preston Tucker and pitchers Lucas Sims and Matt Wisler to Cincinnati for Duvall.

The slugger has slashed .205/.286/.399 with 15 homers and 61 RBIs in 105 games. Against lefties, Duvall has hit .224 with a .769 OPS, opposed to a .199 average and .656 OPS against righties.

Ten of his 15 homers have come against right-handers, though that’s come in almost three times the at-bats (246 against righties, 85 against lefties).

“I’m excited about watching him play,” Snitker said.

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