Braves 3B Austin Riley leaves game with left side strain

NEW YORK — Atlanta third baseman Austin Riley left the Braves’ game Sunday night against the New York Mets because of tightness in his left side.

Riley was replaced by Zack Short in the bottom of the fourth inning. Braves manager Brian Snitker said Riley experienced slight discomfort during batting practice, but didn’t tell anyone on staff. He spoke up when he felt it again at the start of the match.

“He was in pain,” Snitker said afterward the 4-3 defeat of his team. “I just didn’t want to take any chances, so we’ll see him again tomorrow and see what happens.”

Batting third in the lineup, Riley singled with two outs in the first inning, then struck out in the third. He is hitting .245 with three homers and 18 RBIs this season.

The two-time All-Star has finished sixth or seventh in the NL MVP standings each of the last three years. He hit .281 with 37 home runs, 97 RBIs and an .861 OPS last season, winning his second Silver Slugger award.

“I’m glad Austin said something. I don’t want him to go through something like that and then take a big turn and – it’s smart of him to mention it. A cool, humid night and all that. A game isn’t worth that,” Snitker said. “We don’t joke about this stuff.”

Short, who started the season with the Mets, made his debut with the Braves after being acquired Thursday from Boston for cash. He drew walks in the sixth and eighth, scoring a decisive run each time on a Marcell Ozuna single.

“Great at-bats,” Snitker said. “Very big sticks.”