Max Fried mostly cruised through six innings and the Braves unleashed a barrage of extra-base hits on Miami pitching as Atlanta picked up its 23rd win of the season on Sunday afternoon by a 6-3 tally. Fried allowed a solo homer in the first and little else, while the Braves pounded three homers, including two by Marcell Ozuna, and held a first-inning lead through the rest of the game.
At the very beginning, an observer familiar with the Braves’ 2022 season to date could have thought, “Here we go again,” as postseason Braves hero Jorge Soler took Fried deep on a 1-2, down-the-pipe fastball. But, there was little reason to think that for long. A few minutes later, Marcell Ozuna returned the favor against Elieser Hernandez, and then Austin Riley went back-to-back to make it a 2-1 Braves lead.
The Braves weren’t done as Matt Olson followed with a hard-hit double, but was left stranded by a groundout.
After that, Fried mostly cruised. He had an infield single erased with a double play in the second, struck out Soler to end the third following a leadoff hit, and only ran into trouble in the fifth, as back-to-back singles brought up the top of Miami’s order for a third time. But, not to worry — Fried struck out Jon Berti for the first out, Jazz Chisholm Jr. for the second, and after losing control and walking Soler to load the bases, got (apparently?) certified Braves Killer Garrett Cooper to hit a first-pitch sinker right back to him to escape the jam. Fried walked the first batter of the sixth, but then got three more outs to end his outing — five strikeouts, three walks, the Soler homer, and six hits — not spectacular, and his 5.15 FIP was his worst in a start this year, but still fine enough to help the Braves notch the series win.
Elieser Hernandez did not fare so well. After the two-homer first, the Braves tacked on runs in the next two innings. In the second, Ozzie Albies and William Contreras began the frame with back-to-back doubles. In the third, Ozuna led off with his second homer of the game, an absolute monster shot that came with an estimated 458 feet of distance.
Hernandez’ first and only scoreless frame was actually his last, as he gave way to Tommy Nance, who didn’t fare much better. Nance came on after Fried escaped his bases-loaded jam, and the Braves piled on — Swanson led off the frame with a single, stole second and third, and scored on a Riley double. Olson followed with another double, this one close to a homer off the right-center wall, to make it a 6-1 Braves lead. Hernandez finished the game with four runs (including three solo homers) charged to him in four innings, to go along with a 3/0 K/BB ratio.
After Dylan Floro retired the Braves in order in the bottom of the sixth, Soler got the Marlins a little closer with a two-run shot off Jackson Stephens, his second longball of the day. But, that’s all the Marlins got in this one — A.J. Minter threw a shutdown eighth (assisted by a nice Michael Harris II catch on a deep drive to center; Harris also robbed Cooper on a barreled liner earlier in the game) and Kenley Jansen locked down the ninth with back-to-back strikeouts after a one-out walk. Louis Head and Richard Bleier finished off the pitching slate for Miami.
The Braves had a lot of pretty batting lines in this one, as each of Ozuna (two homers), Riley (homer, double), Olson (two doubles), Albies (two doubles), and Contreras (double, single) had multihit games. Amazingly, despite the offensive outburst, the Braves didn’t walk all game.
The Braves will now head to Phoenix to take on the Diamondbacks as they await the result of the Sunday night Phillies-Mets matchup. That game will be an 8:10 ET start, with Spencer Strider set to make his first start as a big-league Brave.
Also, check out Harris’ cool catch: