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Thursday February 2nd, 2023 7:47PM

Fried, Ozuna power streaking Braves to 5th straight victory

By The Associated Press
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ATLANTA (AP) — Max Fried allowed no hits in five scoreless innings, Marcell Ozuna homered and the Atlanta Braves won their fifth straight, 7-1 over the Miami Marlins, in a rain-delayed game on Sunday.

The defending World Series champion Braves have taken five in a row and 20 of 25 to move a season-high 33 games over .500. They are within one game of first place in the NL East after the New York Mets lost their second straight to Washington.

Atlanta is 61-24 since June 1, best in the majors over that span.

“That was a pretty good homestand," Braves manager Brian Snitker said. “Our starting pitching was real good, our bullpen was real good, and it’s what we need to do. We’re down to under 30 (games left in the regular season). We need to keep rolling."

Fried (13-5) didn’t allow a baserunner, retiring 12 in a row, until Nick Fortes walked to begin the fifth. Fortes was erased as a double play ended the inning before a rain delay of 1 hour, 51 minutes.

“I knew that rain was in the forecast,” Fried said. “I wish it would’ve held off a little bit longer, but I’m not looking too much into it. I’m just glad I was able to get through five and get a win. This time of year it’s all about winning baseball games.

“If I’m going out there and we win the game, I’m doing my job.”

Fried didn’t return after the delay. Had play not resumed, he still wouldn’t have been credited with a no-hitter because he didn’t pitch nine innings. The first-time All-Star struck out six and walked one, throwing 37 of 66 pitches for strikes.

Miami, which managed three hits, has dropped a season-high seven in row and has been held to two runs or fewer in eight straight.

The Marlins got their first hit when Miguel Rojas lined a clean single off Jesse Chavez with two outs in the sixth and scored their lone run, trimming the lead to 4-1, off 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 had trouble getting anything going,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. “You’re getting a top of the line guy in Fried and dealing with a lineup that’s younger and trying to find their way in the big leagues, so you know it’s going to be a battle.”

Ozuna hit his 21st homer, an opposite-field solo shot to 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 Acuña Jr. hit a two-run single off Cole Susler to make it 7-1.

Pablo López (8-9) erased two runners in scoring position in the second when Ozuna grounded out sharply, but he was less fortunate in the third. Eddie Rosario led off with a single, advanced to third on Acuña’s ground-rule double and scored on Dansby Swanson’s sacrifice fly.

López allowed two runs and five hits with one walk and seven strikeouts in four innings.

“I really wanted to keep going," Lopez said of the rain delay. “I was really looking forward to that, but that's way out of my control, so it is what it is."

Since becoming a full-time starter in 2019, Fried has 51 wins, second-most in the majors to 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 from players 25 and younger this season. Austin Riley has 35, followed by William Contreras (17), Harris (15), Acuña (11), Ozzie Albies (8) and Vaughn Grissom (4). The most homers a Braves team has gotten in a season from players 25 and younger is 107, first accomplished in 1957 and matched in 2019.

STREAKING

Harris singled three times to increase 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 he steps up there he gets the job done," Riley said. “The moments don't get big for him. He's the same guy every time. It's been really fun to watch him."

UP NEXT

Both teams are off Monday. The Braves open a two-game series Tuesday at 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 Jesús Luzardo (3-6, 3.44) on the mound. The Phillies have yet to announce a starter.

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