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Braves ace Max Fried (ankle) expected back for Game 1 of playoffs

Braves ace Max Fried is expected to be ready for Game 1 of the playoffs after leaving his start Wednesday with an ankle injury.

Braves manager Brian Snitker said Fried is sore but additional tests on the ankle were negative.

Fried was making his final regular-season start for the NL East champions and hoping to boost his Cy Young Award credentials before starting Game 1 of his team's first-round series. He lasted only one inning against the Marlins, tweaking an ankle while fielding a bunt down the third-base line by Starling Marte.

Although Fried didn't appear to be hurt on the bunt, he wasn't the same pitcher after the play.

Having gone the entire season without allowing a homer, covering 55⅔ innings, Fried suddenly gave up two in a row. Jesus Aguilar hit one off the facade of the second deck, Brian Anderson drove one into the empty center-field seats, and Garrett Cooper nearly made it three in a row with a double off the wall.

"Obviously, it bit him a little bit," Snitker said after the game. "I'm sure it was on his mind, too."

The left-hander got the third out, then sat solemnly in the dugout while talking to Snitker and getting an apparent pep talk from teammate Freddie Freeman. Although the decision to remove Fried was described as precautionary, it created more uncertainty for the Braves, who have struggled all season to find three consistent starters to go with Fried.

Atlanta bounced back with three runs in the bottom of the first to beat the Marlins 9-4 and ensure that Fried wouldn't take his first loss. He finished the regular season 7-0 with a 2.25 ERA.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.