With Marcus Stroman out, Javier Assad gets start for Cubs on Saturday

Assad (1-2) will make his second start of the season. He pitched 3 2⁄3 scoreless innings Monday, his second-longest outing of the season.

SHARE With Marcus Stroman out, Javier Assad gets start for Cubs on Saturday
Javier Assad will start for the Cubs on Saturday against the Braves.

Javier Assad will start for the Cubs on Saturday against the Braves.

Erin Hooley/AP

With right-hander Marcus Stroman on the injured list because of inflammation in his right hip, the Cubs knew they’d need someone to fill his spot in the rotation Saturday against the Braves.

Asked before the team’s 8-0 loss Friday whether a starter for Saturday had been determined, manager David Ross said: ‘‘There will be one, but there is not right now. See how today goes.’’

With right-hander Hayden Wesneski needed to eat innings Friday — he worked at least three innings in relief for the fifth time this season — that made the decision simpler.

Ross said after the game that right-hander Javier Assad (1-2) will make his second start of the season Saturday. Assad pitched 3‰ scoreless innings Monday, his second-longest outing of the season, so he’s presumably stretched out and rested enough to slot in against the Braves.

Pressure drop?

It’s not as though the Cubs ever want to miss an opportunity to move up in the standings. But their surge after the All-Star break that persuaded president of baseball operations Jed Hoyer to keep the core together for a possible playoff run might have eased some of the stakes for any particular game. Case in point: the Cubs’ 8-0 loss Friday.

‘‘It’s still day-to-day,’’ said right-hander Kyle Hendricks, who took the loss. ‘‘‘That’s how we always try and take it. But with how good we’ve been playing lately, of course, it’s easy to move on from this one.

‘‘But, again, you want to show up every single day, give your team a chance to win, at least be in it. You don’t want to have days like today, no matter what. But it’s a little more under a microscope before the trade deadline.’’

Max effort

Other than Cody Bellinger, who singled twice in three at-bats, the Cubs were mostly baffled by left-hander Max Fried and the Braves’ bullpen.

Fried (3-1) had not pitched since May 5 because of a strained forearm, but he looked to be in top form. He worked six innings, allowing three hits and no walks with eight strikeouts. He threw 72 pitches.

‘‘Fried was an ace pitching like an ace,’’ Ross said. ‘‘He had real stuff in the zone, mixing multiple pitches. He never got into trouble at all, other than a couple of singles.

‘‘Just a beating. We’ll go home and be ready to go tomorrow.’’

What makes Fried so tough?

‘‘It’s 94 [mph]-plus from the left side, and it’s got real run to it,” Ross said. ‘‘It’s got some cut. The changeup was effective. He was able to land the breaking ball and the back-foot sliders. It’s a multipitch mix in the zone with stuff.’’

Injury report

Right-handers Brad Boxberger (strained right forearm) and Ethan Roberts (Tommy John surgery) threw bullpen sessions, and right-hander Nick Burdi (appendectomy) threw live batting practice.

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