ATLANTA – Max Fried didn’t allow a hit in five scoreless innings, Marcell Ozuna won their fifth straight, 7-1 win over the Miami Marlins in a rain-delayed game on Sunday.
The defending World Series champion Braves have gone five in a row and 20 of 25 to move 33 games over .500 through 33 games on the season. They are one game out of first place in the NL East after the New York Mets lost their second straight to Washington.
Atlanta is 61-24 since June 1st, a major-league best in that span.
“It was a really good home,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said. “Our starting pitching was really good, our bullpen was really good and that’s what we have to do. We’re under 30 (regular season games left). We have to keep rolling.”
Fried (13-5) didn’t allow a baserunner, retiring 12 in a row, until Nick Fortes walked to start the fifth. Fortes was erased as a double play ended the inning before a 1 hour, 51 minute rain delay.
“I knew rain was in the forecast,” Fried said. “I wish it would have lasted a little longer, but I don’t look too much into it. I’m just happy that I was able to go five and win. This time of year all it takes is winning baseball games.
“If I go out there and we win the game, I’ll do my job.”
Fried did not return after the delay. If he hadn’t started the game again, he still wouldn’t have been credited with a no-hitter because he didn’t go nine innings. The first All-Star struck out six and walked one, throwing 37 of 66 pitches for strikes.
Miami, which had three hits, snapped a season-high seven straight and was held to two runs or fewer in eight straight.
The Marlins got their first hit when Miguel Rojas beat Jesse Chavez’s clean single with two outs in the sixth and scored their only run, cutting the lead to 4-1, against Collin McHugh in the eighth on Joey Wendle’s single . McHugh’s wild pitch advanced runners to second and third before Charles Leblanc struck out to end the threat.
“We just struggled to get anything going,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. “You get a top guy in Fried and you’re dealing with a lineup that’s younger and trying to find its way to the big leagues, so you know it’s going to be a battle.”
Ozuna hit his 21st homer, a solo shot to the opposite field in right-center, to make it 2-0 in the fourth.
The Braves tacked on two runs in the sixth when Matt Olson walked, advanced to third on a single by Travis d’Arnaud and a fielding error by right fielder Brian Anderson and scored on Michael Harris II’s single. D’Arnaud scored on a wild pitch by Jeff Brigham.
In the eighth, Harris added an RBI single off Andrew Nardi and Ronald Acuna Jr. hit a two-run single off Cole Sassler to make it 7-1.
Pablo Lopez (8-9) erased two runners in scoring position in the second when Ozuna was grounded out, but was less fortunate in the third. Eddie Rosario led off with a single, advanced to third on Acuna’s double and scored on Dansby Swanson’s sacrifice fly.
Lopez allowed two runs and five hits with one walk and seven strikeouts over four innings.
“I really wanted to go on,” Lopez said of the rain delay. “I was really looking forward to it, but this is so out of my control, it is what it is.”
Since becoming a first baseman in 2019, Fried has 51 wins, second in the majors behind the Yankees’ Gerrit Cole (53). Fried improved to 3-2 with a 1.66 ERA over his last six starts. His career ERA against Miami is 4.94, but the Braves are 9-3 in his starts.
The Braves are 37-17 against Miami at Truist Park and 90-49 overall against the Marlins since 2015.
YOUNG AND TALENTED
The Braves have 90 homers by players 25 and under this season. Austin Riley has 35, followed by William Contreras (17), Harris (15), Acuna (11), Ozzie Albis (8) and Von Grissom (4). The most homers hit by a Braves team in a season by players 25 and younger is 107, first accomplished in 1957 and matched in 2019.
Harris singled three times to extend his hitting streak to 12 games. Among rookies with at least 200 plate appearances this year, he ranks first in slugging percentage, OPS and batting average. Harris, who is hitting .406 in 32 at-bats against Miami this year, was caught stealing in the sixth for the first time in 17 attempts.
“It seems like every big moment that goes up there gets the job done,” Riley said. “The moments are not great for him. It’s the same guy every time. He was really fun to watch.”
Both teams are off Monday. The Braves open a two-game series Tuesday in Oakland with RHP Kyle Wright (17-5, 2.85 ERA) facing LHP Cole Irvin (7-11, 3.35 ERA). Miami opens a three-game series Tuesday at Philadelphia with LHP Jesus Luzardo (3-6, 3.44) on the mound. The Phillies have yet to announce a starter.
Fried, Ozuna power streaking Braves to 5th straight win originally appeared on NBCSports.com