Yankees’ Zack Britton has elbow surgery, likely out until May

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TAMPA, Fla. — New York Yankees left-hander Zack Britton had surgery to remove a bone chip from his pitching elbow.

The reliever is likely to be out until at least May and perhaps until summer. The team has not specified a timeframe.

Yankees head team physician Dr. Christopher Ahmad operated at New York-Presbyterian Hospital.

“Want to thank Dr. Ahmad and his staff for their excellent work today,” Britton wrote on Twitter. “Excited to start the process of getting myself ready to rejoin the boys.”

Left-hander Aroldis Chapman is the Yankees’ closer, and manager Aaron Boone said he will mix and match during the sixth, seventh and eighth innings. Boone has said right-hander Chad Green, side-arming right-hander Darren O'Day, right-hander Jonathan Loaisiga and left-hander Justin Wilson are options.

“I think it comes down to the incision being healed,” manager Aaron Boone said “That’ll tell him when he can start playing catch and start the ramp-up process. So don’t want to really put a timetable on it.”

Chapman is suspended for the first two games of the season by Major League Baseball for throwing a 101 mph fastball near the head of Tampa Bay’s Mike Brosseau on Sept. 1.

Britton, 33, is a two-time All-Star who was 1-2 with a 1.89 ERA and eight saves in 20 appearances during the pandemic-shortened 2020 season. He filled in as closer for the first 3 1/2 weeks while Chapman missed 21 games recovering from COVID-19.

Catcher Robinson Chirinos is scheduled for surgery on his right wrist on Tuesday with Dr. Douglas Carlan in Tampa, Florida, six days after Chirinos was by a pitch from Pittsburgh’s Blake Cederlind. Manager Aaron Boone said it appears estimated recovery time is four to six weeks.

Infielder-outfielder Miguel Andujar is receiving treatment for a muscle strain in in his right hand, and a nerve issue is being monitored, according to Boone.

NOTES: RHP Domingo German pitched four shutout innings, allowed three hits, struck out six and walked one in a 4-2 win over Philadelphia.

“Seemed like he was a little inconsistent maybe with the breaking ball a little bit early, but really dialed that in and got nasty with that. Again, the changeup was a great pitch for him,” Boone said. “Fastball was there. Good movement, good velocity. He looked really polished.”

In his return from a domestic violence suspension that started in September 2019, German has pitched nine scoreless innings, allowing five hits, striking out 13 and walking one. He is competing with Deivi Garcia to be the fifth starter in a rotation with Gerrit Cole, Corey Kluber, Jameson Taillon and Jordan Montgomery.

German was 18-4 with a 4.03 ERA before the suspension in 2019.

“The decision for April 1 isn’t the final decision,” Boone said. “I go back to a couple years ago when DJ LeMahieu wasn’t in the starting lineup on opening day. I knew he was going to play pretty much every day, but it’s like somebody’s got to sit on opening day and that’s the story, but it’s a long season. And I just feel really good about where all our starters or – slash guys who give us length – I feel like we’re in a pretty good spot with them right now, and we’re going to need them all.”

Swanson, Olson go deep vs Scherzer, Braves take NL East lead

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ATLANTA — Dansby Swanson and Matt Olson homered off Max Scherzer, lifting the Atlanta Braves to a crucial 4-2 victory Saturday night over the New York Mets and a one-game lead in the NL East.

The defending World Series champions beat aces Jacob deGrom and Scherzer on consecutive nights to take their biggest lead of the season in the division. New York, which held a 10 1/2-game cushion on June 1, faces its biggest deficit of the year with four games remaining.

Atlanta will try for a three-game sweep Sunday night, with the winner earning the season-series tiebreaker between the teams. Even though both teams are headed to the postseason, that’s important because the NL East champion gets a first-round bye in the playoffs.

Swanson’s 24th homer, a go-ahead, two-run shot in the fifth inning, touched off a frenzy among the sold-out crowd at Truist Park, the ball sailing a few rows up into the seats in left-center to make it 3-2. Olson hit his 32nd homer in the sixth, a solo shot into Chop House seats in right to put Atlanta up 4-2.

Austin Riley led off the fourth with a double and scored on Olson’s single to make it 1-all.

Kyle Wright (21-5) gave up two runs and seven hits with one walk and three strikeouts in five innings as he won his eighth straight decision. The Braves have won 16 of his last 17 starts.

New York went up 2-1 in the fifth when Pete Alonso, Francisco Lindor and Jeff McNeil hit consecutive two-out singles.

The Mets led 1-0 in the first when Brandon Nimmo singled, advanced on a walk and a single and scored on Eduardo Escobar‘s groundout. Wright, who threw 30 pitches in the first, stranded two runners in scoring position to prevent further damage.

Scherzer (11-5) allowed a first-inning single to Riley and a third-inning infield single to Ronald Acuna Jr., who advanced to third on a fielding error by Lindor at shortstop but was stranded when Michael Harris II lined out to center. Scherzer patted his glove and pumped his fist as he walked off the mound.

Scherzer was charged with nine hits and four runs with no walks and four strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings as the Mets were knocked out of first place for only the third day all season.

The Braves have won five of the last six against New York to tie the season series 9-all, outscoring the Mets 37-16 over that stretch.

Atlanta’s bullpen, which posted a 1.70 ERA in September, got a perfect inning from Dylan Lee in the sixth. Jesse Chavez faced four batters in the seventh, Raisel Iglesias faced the minimum in the eighth and closer Kenley Jansen pitched a perfect ninth for his NL-leading 39th save in 46 chances.

Since the Braves were a season low-tying four games under .500 at 23-27 after play on May 31, they have gone 76-32, tying the Los Angeles Dodgers for the best record in the majors over that span. They were a season-worst 10 1/2 games behind the first-place Mets on June 1.

Wright, the only 20-game winner in baseball this season, hasn’t officially become the first Braves pitcher to lead the league in wins outright since Russ Ortiz had 21 in 2003, but the Dodgers’ Julio Urias has 17 and can’t reach 20 before the regular season ends.

Wright will become the first Braves pitcher since Hall of Famer Tom Glavine in 2000 to lead the majors in wins. Houston ace Justin Verlander also has 17.

Wright began the game 1-4 with a 6.75 ERA in six career starts and one relief appearance against the Mets.

The Braves, who got homers from Riley, Olson and Swanson off deGrom on Friday, lead the NL with 240 homers.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Mets: All-Star RF Starling Marte (right middle finger fracture) has yet to begin swinging or throwing. Manager Buck Showalter said Marte is experiencing less pain but not enough to take the next step in his recovery. Marte has been sidelined since Sept. 7.

Braves: RHP Spencer Strider still has not thrown as he gets treatment on a sore left oblique. Manager Brian Snitker said there is no timetable for the rookie’s return. Strider has been sidelined since Sept. 21.

NICE GLOVE

Harris ran back and jumped to catch Nimmo’s fly against the wall in center field for the first out of the third.

UP NEXT

Mets RHP Chris Bassitt (15-8, 3.27 ERA) will face RHP Charlie Morton (9-6, 4.29) as the teams conclude a three-game series.