De La Cruz to start Sunday’s series finale for Braves

Joel De La Cruz will move from the bullpen to start for the Braves in Sunday’s series finale against the Phillies, the team announced late Saturday. He’ll be filling in for Lucas Harrell, who was traded Wednesday to the Rangers.

It’ll be the third start for the rookie right-hander and his first in nearly four weeks, since a July 4 start against the same Phillies team at Philadelphia. De La Cruz gave up nine hits and seven runs (four earned) in that game and is 0-2 with a 5.25 ERA in two starts.

De La Cruz is 0-1 with a 3.68 ERA in seven relief appearances and last pitched Thursday in the opener of the four-game series against the Phillies. He retired both batters he faced in that game and has five scoreless appearances in his past six outings, allowing four hits and two earnd runs with one walk and six strikeouts in six innings.

The Braves also announced late Saturday that lefty reliever Matt Marksberry was diagnosed with an inflamed rotator cuff in his pitching shoulder after leaving with two outs in the ninth inning Saturday. He’ll be reevaluated Sunday.