Slumping Inciarte gets a day off, Ozzie moves to leadoff

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His full name is Ozhaino Jurdy Jiandro Albies. His last name is pronounced “ALL-bies.” He was born Jan. 7, 1997 in Willemstad, Curacao. Two key former Braves from Curacao are Andruw Jones and Andrelton Simmons. The Braves signed him in July 2013. He made his major league debut Aug. 1, 2017. Albies' home run off Tony Cingrani on Aug. 3 was his first major league homer. That also was the first homer hit by a player born in 1997. He is a switch-hitter, learning to do that in 2013.

Braves manager Brian Snitker used a lineup that included three backups and Ozzie Albies batting leadoff Saturday against the Cubs on the most miserable weather day of a season that’s included plenty of them.

Then Albies led off the game with a homer in 38-degree weather with a “feels like” temperature of 28 and the wind and light rain blowing in at Wrigley Field.

-- Peter Bourjos started in center field in place of Ender Inciarte, the first time the struggling Gold Glover and leadoff man has been out of the lineup this season. Inciarte hit just .179 with a .242 OBP before Saturday, the fourth time in five major league seasons that he’s started slowly.

-- Lane Adams was in left instead of Preston Tucker, who hit his third homer Friday and raised his RBI total to 12. Tucker is only the third Atlanta-era Brave with at least three homers with two or more men on base before the end of April, after Andres Galarraga in 2000 and Andruw Jones in 2007.

-- Charlie Culberson was at third base in place of Ryan Flaherty, who had three hits Friday to raise his average to .366, second-best in the National League before Saturday.

“I planned to give Ender a day off,” Snitker said. “I wish I could give more guys (a day off). It does two things, I think: It gives him just a break from running around in the outfield, and it allows some of the bench guys to get three or four at-bats under their belts. I just thought this was probably a good day to do it.

Snitker said the lineup changes weren’t so much about the weather as just a chance to get playing time for backups against Cubs left-hander Jose Quintana, only the second lefty starter the Braves have faced in 14 games.

“It’s going to be good today to get some of those guys some at-bats,” Snitker said. “And we haven’t faced a lot of lefties. So it’s just a good opportunity to get everybody involved.”

The Braves (8-5) entered Saturday with the majors’ third-highest OPS (.781), fifth-highest batting average (.261) and tied for fifth-most runs (72).

With Inciarte out of the lineup, hot-hitting second baseman Albies moved up one spot to bat leadoff and Dansby Swanson moved up from the sixth or seventh spot to bat second. Inciarte hit first and Albies second in the order in every game this season before Saturday.

Albies’ homer was his fifth of the season and third on a nine-game trip that ends Sunday. Bryce Harper (six) was the only major leaguer with more than five homers before Saturday.