Atlanta Braves pitcher Mike Foltynewicz was beginning to emerge as a top-of-the-rotation type starter before he experienced some tightness in his right tricep.
After spending 10 days on the disabled list, he will try to regain that form in the series opener against the streaking Cincinnati Reds.
Foltynewicz (5-4, 2.16 ERA) will be opposed by Cincinnati’s Tyler Mahle (6-6, 3.89 ERA) in the first game of a three-game set at SunTrust Park.
It won’t be an easy assignment for Foltynewicz. The Reds have won seven straight — 10 of their last 11 — and are coming off a sweep of the Chicago Cubs. On Sunday, the Reds scored seven runs in the seventh inning and swept the Cubs in a four-game series for the first time since 1983.
Since Jim Riggleman became the team’s manager, Cincinnati is 29-30 and the Reds have won 24 of their last 42.
The Braves and Reds split a four-game series in April in Cincinnati.
Foltynewicz has only pitched five innings in the two starts after his complete-game shutout against the Washington Nationals on June 1. He threw five scoreless innings against the New York Mets before leaving with the arm issues on June 12.
The former first-round draft choice, who was acquired from the Houston Astros in 2015, has made 14 starts this season and allowed two or fewer earned runs in 13 of them. He has had four scoreless starts. He ranks fourth in the National League in ERA.
Foltynewicz received a no decision in his April 23 start against the Reds. He left after 4 2/3 innings, having allowed two runs on three hits and four walks, with seven strikeouts. In four career starts against the Reds, he is 1-0 with a 2.31 ERA.
Mahle has been hot, going 3-0 with a 1.61 ERA over his last four starts. The Reds have won all four of his starts in June, in which he has allowed four runs in 22 1/3 innings. He beat the Detroit Tigers in his most recent start, giving up two runs and fanning eight in six innings.
“Tyler did a great job,” Riggleman said after Mahle’s last start. “It seems like we’ve got six and eight innings from a lot of our starters. You’ve got a chance to win the ballgame. When you do that, you get a chance to use your bullpen the way it should be used and a lot of times good things are going to happen.”
Mahle started against the Braves on April 24 and gave up three runs in six innings with a career-high 11 strikeouts. Mahle took a no-hitter into the seventh before losing it on a leadoff homer by Atlanta’s Freddie Freeman. The Reds eventually lost that game in 12 innings.
The Braves’ bullpen took a jolt on Sunday when closer Arodys Vizcaino was placed on the 10-day disabled list with right shoulder soreness. Vizcaino, who had not pitched since June 17, had a cortisone shot earlier in the week and still wasn’t feeling well enough to pitch by the weekend.
“His shoulder is not responding like we wanted it to,” Atlanta manager Brian Snitker said. “It was one of those situations where if he wasn’t ready to pitch [Sunday], we had to back off it and get it right, because it wasn’t working.”
Atlanta activated right-hander Evan Phillips to take Vizcaino’s spot on the roster. Phillips had 50 strikeouts in 35 innings and a 2.33 ERA for Triple-A Gwinnett.