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Max Fried Shaky, Dickerson and d’Arnaud homer in 8-7 loss

Los Angeles Dodgers vs Atlanta Braves, 2021 National League Championship Series Set Number: X163847 TK1

Max Fried took the mound in his final tune-up against the Twins before making his start on Opening Day.

Things started off well for the Braves on offense, as singles from Swanson and d’Arnaud set up runners on first and third, before Ozuna hit a sacrifice fly to bring home Dansby. Ozzie hit a single after Ozuna, but Alex Dickerson grounded out to end the inning. Fried immediately gave the run back, allowing a homer to Byron Buxton before Carlos Correa doubled. Fried did record two outs from there, but a Max Kepler single brought home Correa, giving the Twins a 2-1 lead. A lineout by Kyle Garlick ended the inning for Max. Both pitchers recorded 1-2-3 second innings.

On to the third and Dansby started off an Atlanta threat with a one-out single. Travis d’Arnaud made the most of the opportunity with a two-run blast, giving the lead back to Atlanta. The Braves didn’t muster anymore baserunners in the inning. Max Fried worked around a Byron Buxton leadoff single in a scoreless bottom of the frame. Alex Dickerson walked to leadoff the fourth inning, but a Phil Gosselin single was the only other baserunner of the inning for Atlanta, as they failed to bring home Dickerson. Garlick reached with one out in the bottom fourth on an error, and Ryan Jeffers mashed a homer to center to make that error costly for Atlanta. The Twins notched two more singles, both on hard-hit balls against Max, still with only one out, and that was Snitker’s cue to take Fried out, as Dylan Spain came in from the bullpen. Byron Buxton absolutely launched his second homer of the day off of Spain’s second pitch. Carlos Correa hit a homer of his own shortly after, as Spain was clearly not fooling anyone. Spain did finally get out of the inning, but the damage was done.

In the top of the fifth, Dansby walked, but no other Brave managed to reach base. Max Fried came back in to get more work in the fifth and was much better, but ended his day on a full-count walk, as Collin McHugh game in for relief and promptly recorded a strikeout to end the inning. Alex Dickerson mashed a homer with some help from the wind to lead off the sixth, as the only Atlanta baserunner of the inning. Collin McHugh came back out for the bottom sixth and made an impressive catch on a line-drive comebacker for the first out. Another comebacker with a few bounces and a little less heat resulted in the second out before McHugh closed out the inning with another strikeout. A very involved outing for Collin.

Neither offense managed to produce any baserunners in the seventh inning. Ryan Goins and Alex Dickerson walked to start the top of the eighth and two outs later, Pat Valaika cut the Twins’ lead to one run with a three run blast. The Twins mustered a double and a walk, but no insurance run in the bottom eighth, sending the game to the ninth with a 8-7 Twins advantage. A single that was smoked by William Contreras and a HBP for Trey Harris put runners on first and second with one out. However, Ryan Goins struck out and Alex Dickerson grounded out to end the game as an 8-7 Twins victory.

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