Max Fried pitched seven strong innings and Austin Riley drove in three runs to help Atlanta earn a 7-2 win over the visiting Philadelphia Phillies on Wednesday to put the Braves on the brink of a fourth consecutive National League East title.
The Braves (85-72) expanded their lead in the division to 4 1/2 games over second-place Philadelphia (81-77). Atlanta’s magic number to clinch the division is one. The Braves will look to complete their first home three-game series sweep of the season on Thursday.
Fried (14-7) allowed two runs, one earned, on four hits and no walks with six strikeouts. His streak of scoreless innings ended at 17, but the Braves are 10-1 over his past 11 starts. Fried has won seven consecutive decisions dating back to Aug. 3.
Atlanta’s Tyler Matzek worked a scoreless eighth, and Richard Rodriguez finished the game with a perfect ninth inning.
Riley was 2-for-5 with a walk while increasing his RBI total to 103. His seventh-inning double against Hector Neris provided two key insurance runs. Dansby Swanson, who went 3-for-4, followed with a two-RBI single off Sam Coonrod to complete the four-run seventh that put the game away.
Fried outdueled Aaron Nola (9-9), who struggled early before settling down to retire the last eight batters he faced. In six innings, Nola allowed three runs on seven hits and two walks with four strikeouts.
The Braves jumped on Nola for two runs in the first inning. Riley drove in a run with a single and Adam Duvall contributed a run-scoring grounder for his league-leading 112th RBI of the season.
The Phillies made it 2-1 in the second with a two-out rally. Matt Vierling singled, went to third on a hit by Didi Gregorius and scored on an infield hit by Ronald Torreyes.
The Braves got the run back in the third inning when Eddie Rosario’s two-out double knocked in Ozzie Albies, who had led off with a single.
Philadelphia got back within a run in the sixth. Odubel Herrera led off with a double, took third on a passed ball and scored on Jean Segura’s grounder to shortstop.
–Field Level Media