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Max Fried walks five but gives up zero runs as Braves beat Twins, 3-2

Despite giving out a handful of free passes, Max Fried was able to keep the Twins off the scoreboard while he was on the mound in spring training action today.

MLB: Spring Training-Atlanta Braves at Minnesota Twins Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports

The Braves only had one spring training game today after being in split squad action throughout Tuesday. That had to have been a relief for Brian Snitker, who only had to be around for one game after he decided to manage both games yesterday. He ended up overseeing a spring training victory for the Braves as they defeated the Twins, 3-2.

Today’s starter was Max Fried and this was probably his most intriguing start of the three outings that he’s made so far this spring. Fried pitched 4.2 innings on the day and the good news is that he didn’t give up a single run. He also picked up three strikeouts on his way to keeping the Twins off of the scoreboard while he was on the mound. He hasn’t given up any runs since that disastrous first start (keeping in mind that he only logged 2.2 innings in his second start), but he did find himself in a jam in the second inning of this one.

That was when Fried gave up one of the only two hits he surrendered and walked a couple of Twins batters as well. Fried got a strikeout to end the inning without letting in a run, but those two walks ended up being a bit of a theme as he ended up picking up five walks. Even though it’s just spring training, Fried only walked five batters one time during the 2019 season. Hopefully, this was just a case of Fried being a little adventurous on the mound and not a sign of things to come. Either way, it was definitely encouraging that he was able to keep the Twins from scoring while he was on the mound and he looks to be rounding into regular season form with Opening Day on the horizon.

The offense for the Braves came during the fourth and fifth innings — the fourth inning was when Peter O’Brien continued to show off the power that has been turning heads a little bit so far during spring training. With Adam Duvall in scoring position, O’Brien went ahead and drove in both Duvall and himself with a homer that flew clear over the fence and into the grassy area in left field at the Twins facility in Fort Myers.

The Braves added another run in the fifth inning after Pete Kozma, Ronald Acuña Jr., and Ozzie Albies strung together a trio of consecutive singles. Naturally, we’re going to be looking to see the latter couple of that trio stringing together consecutive hits/base appearances throughout the entirety of the 2020 season. It’s also nice to see Acuña get going as well, if only so that it’ll hopefully ease the concerns of anybody who is worried about a 40/40 threat falling off of a cliff after not doing well in exhibition games.

Once Max Fried left the game, the Braves proceeded to give the ball to bullpen regulars like Darren O’Day, Will Smith, and Josh Tomlin. Those three went on to throw three scoreless innings while only giving up two hits and one walk. The three guys also tossed five strikeouts among themselves over the three innings pitched, so it seems like these relievers appear to be in decent shape as they begin to ramp up for the regular season.

The game ended with the Twins picking up a couple of runs off of Patrick Weigel, but Weigel was able to keep the Twins from pushing in the tying run with a man on second base after he struck out Ryan Jeffers to end the game. It wasn’t the best outing that we’ll see out of Weigel but hopefully he’ll continue to improve as he endeavors to not only get called up to the majors in the future, but actually make an appearance in a big league game as well.

Tomorrow the Braves will be heading to Lakeland to take on the Tigers — it’s also an important milestone on the calendar, since we will officially be two weeks away from Opening Day. Slowly but surely we’re all making it towards actual baseball that counts and the sooner that it gets here, the better.

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