Sunday’s game looked like an excellent pitching duel on paper and the game lived up to that billing. The Braves had an early chance against Merrill Kelly who retired the side in order in the first, but allowed a double off the bricks in right center by Austin Riley to begin the second. Kelly got Eddie Rosario to pop out and then walked Travis d’Arnaud. William Contreras followed with a deep fly to the corner in left that Jake McCarthy ran down but then dropped after running into the wall. The third base umpire signaled out and then safe which put both of Atlanta’s runners in no man’s land. McCarthy fired the ball in and the Diamondbacks ended the inning with an unconventional double play.
Unfortunate double play for Arizona after the third-base umpire makes conflicting calls on a play in the left-field corner. pic.twitter.com/Qd1X1bLHmA— Bally Sports South (@BallySportsSO) July 31, 2022
Kelly allowed a two-out single to Ronald Acuña Jr. in the third but struck out Dansby Swanson to leave him stranded. He retired the side in order in the fourth and the fifth.
Max Fried matched Kelly pitch-for-pitch. Fried struck out the side in the first and retired the first 11 hitters he faced before walking Ketel Marte with two outs in the fourth. Christian Walker grounded out to leave the runner stranded. McCarthy broke up Fried’s no-hitter with a one-out single in the fifth. Fried got Jordan Luplow to pop out and then d’Arnaud gunned down McCarthy as he tried to swipe second base.
Arizona threatened in the sixth against Fried as Daulton Varsho walked to lead off the inning and then moved up to second on a bunt single by Geraldo Perdomo. However, Fried dug in and struck out Carson Kelly for the first out.
Max Fried, Gorgeous 76mph Curveball. pic.twitter.com/umelYJ1QMW— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) July 31, 2022
Josh Rojas lined out to Eddie Rosario in left who made a nice sliding catch. Ketel Marte then popped out to Fried to leave the runners stranded.
Fried came back out for the seventh and allowed a single to Christian Walker who was erased on a 4-6-3 double play by Buddy Kennedy. McCarthy then singled again. Brian Snitker came out to talk to Fried, but elected to leave him in to face Jordan Luplow who popped out to end the inning.
Another excellent start for Fried who allowed four hits and two walks over seven scoreless innings. He struck out five while throwing 104 pitches. Kelly was just as impressive. He allowed just three hits, two walks and struck out eight over seven scoreless for Arizona. He threw 91 pitches with 59 going for strikes.
Dylan Lee and Kenley Jansen kept the game tied with a pair of scoreless innings in the eighth and the ninth. That set the stage for the ninth as Matt Olson hit a one-out single off of Mark Melancon and then came around to score on a rocket double by Austin Riley into the right center gap to give the Braves a 1-0 win.
The Braves sweep the series and keep pace with the New York Mets in the NL East standings. Atlanta will enjoy an off day Monday before finishing off their homestand with a two-game series against the Philadelphia Phillies.