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Braves’ Max Fried stymies Cubs again

Apr 26, 2022; Cumberland, Georgia, USA; Atlanta Braves center fielder Adam Duvall (14) drives in a run with a sacrifice fly ball against the Chicago Cubs during the second inning at Truist Park. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Left-hander Max Fried pitched six strong innings and continued his dominance over the Chicago Cubs as the host Atlanta Braves scored a 3-1 win on Tuesday.

Travis Demeritte hit a tiebreaking homer for the Braves in the fifth inning, and Ozzie Albies had two of Atlanta’s six hits.

Fried (2-2) allowed one run on four hits and four strikeouts and improved his career mark to 4-0 with a 1.57 ERA against the Cubs. He walked none but hit a batter. It was Fried’s third straight start without allowing a walk, giving him 21 strikeouts and one walk in 24 innings this season.

The Atlanta bullpen finished the game with three scoreless, hitless innings, one each from Will Smith, Tyler Matzek and Kenley Jansen, with the latter striking out two while earning his fifth save.

Chicago starter Marcus Stroman (0-3) bounced back from two poor outings to pitch six innings and allowed three runs (two earned) on six hits and no walks. He fanned three. Relievers Ethan Roberts and Michael Rucker each pitched a scoreless inning, with Roberts striking out the side.

The Braves ended a two-game losing streak while the Cubs fell for the sixth time in seven games.

Atlanta opened the scoring with a run in the third inning on Adam Duvall’s sacrifice fly.

Chicago’s Ian Happ hit a solo homer, his second in two games, to open the third inning and tie the game. It was the first home run allowed by Fried this season and ended his stretch of 47 consecutive homerless innings.

Atlanta regained the lead with two runs in the fifth.

Demeritte hit his first homer of the season, a solo shot on an opposite-field liner to right.

The second run came when Dansby Swanson singled and scored when center fielder Michael Hermosillo misplayed Albies’ fly ball and let it get past him and roll to the fence. Swanson scored and Albies ended up at third with a hit and an error. Hermosillo subsequently made a nice running catch to take extra bases away from Austin Riley and end the inning.

Demeritte started in right field after the Braves placed outfielder Eddie Rosario on the 10-day injured list. Rosario, who is experiencing blurred vision and swelling in his right retina, and will undergo a laser procedure that could keep him out eight to 12 weeks.

–Field Level Media