Max Fried turned in a strong performance while the offense flexed its muscles in an 8-1 win by the Atlanta Braves over the San Francisco Giants. With the division in hand, the Braves gave several starters including Freddie Freeman and Ozzie Albies the night off. Their replacements had themselves a good night.
The Braves staked Fried to an early lead in the second inning when Billy Hamilton doubled on Francisco Cervelli to plate Atlanta’s first run of the evening. Fried then helped himself with a grounder to first that Dansby Swanson was able to score on thanks to a nifty slide to make it 2-0. Adeiny Hechavarria followed with a double down the line that scored Hamilton and Ronald Acuña Jr. to increase the lead to 4-0.
Cervelli struck again in the fifth when he connected on his first home run in a Braves uniform, a two-run shot to make it 6-0.
After Cristhian Adames cut the deficit to 6-1 with an RBI single in the seventh, Adam Duvall stepped to the plate and launched his ninth home run of the season to push the lead to 8-1.
The plan was for Fried to throw around 65 pitches coming in and he was impressive scattering five hits over 5 1/3 scoreless innings. It isn’t yet known what Fried’s role will be come the postseason but it is safe to say that he will play a big part in the Braves’ plans.
Johnny Cueto came into the game having now allowed a run through his first 10 innings of the season for San Francisco, but he was tagged for two hits, five runs and five walks through just four innings.
Darren O’Day made his fifth appearance of the season for the Braves retiring both batters he faced in the sixth after replacing Fried. Kyle Wright allowed two hits and the Giants’ only run in the seventh. Anthony Swarzak and Sean Newcomb closed things out with a pair of scoreless innings.
The Braves finished with just five hits on the evening but were able to take advantage of six walks. Hechavarria finished 2-for-3 with a walk and drove in two. Duvall and Cervelli drove in two runs each.
With the win, Atlanta improves to 96-60 on the season and 50-30 at SunTrust Park. They will look to complete the sweep on Sunday with Dallas Keuchel on the mound.