Weber’s timely relief work Friday earns Braves rookie a 2nd start

NEW YORK – Braves rookie Ryan Weber impressed Brian Snitker with a strong and long relief appearance Friday when the Braves really needed it, and the effort earned him a start this week after it had seemed unlikely he’d get another one this season.

Weber is scheduled to start Wednesday’s series finale against the Mets, Snitker said Monday.

“He did such a good job the other day,” Snitker said, referring to Weber’s 4 2/3 innings of two-hit, one-run relief Friday against the Nationals, after starter John Gant was knocked out early. “(Weber) was efficient and extended it so well, and he’s somewhat stretched out. Just get the bird off the ground and get us in flight, see where we end up.”

Weber has only one start among his 15 major league appearances this season, and he gave up six hits, five runs and two homers in three innings against the Nationals in that Sept. 5 game at Washington.

But two appearances and nine days later, he faced the Nationals again Friday in Atlanta, this time entering with two out in the second inning after Gant gave up six hits, five runs and three walks in 1 2/3 innings. This time, Weber excelled.

After hitting the first batter he faced, Weber retired the next eight in a row and 12 of 13. He pitched 4 2/3 innings that day in 53 pitches, gave up two hits, and the only run charged to him scored after he left the game in the seventh. Weber saved the bullpen on a day when Snitker might’ve otherwise needed five or six relievers to get through the game.

Now the undersized right-hander will get another start, the seventh of his major league career. He was 0-3 with a 4.76 ERA in five games (all starts) in 2015, and Weber is 1-1 with a 5.46 ERA in 15 games (one start) this season.

The rotation has been depleted by injuries, and when newly acquired veteran Josh Collmenter started Saturday against the Nationals, he became the 16th pitcher to start for the Braves this season, an Atlanta franchise record. Weber will be the 14th of that group to make multiple starts this season.

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