Max Fried and the Braves kicked off their series in Boston with a 6-3 win over the Red Sox Monday night. With tonight’s victory, the Braves are now 20-14 and three games ahead of Miami and Philadelphia, who are tied for second place.
Fried is now 6-0 on the season. It was clear from the beginning that he didn’t have his best stuff, but he battled his way through five innings, only allowing two runs and five hits. He struck out five and walked two.
The Braves struck early, with a Markakis double into the left field corner bringing home Dansby Swanson in the top of the first. In a rare turn of events, Fried gave that run back in the bottom of the inning when Alex Verdugo logged his first of three doubles on the night and came home on a Rafael Devers single.
Fried seemed distracted from the get-go, and it was never more apparent than when he balked in a run in the third inning. That run gave the Red Sox a 2-1 lead.
The lead was brief, however, because Adam Duvall absolutely pulverized a ball over the Green Monster in the fourth inning to tie the score.
The Braves chased Colten Brewer in the fifth inning, but not before he loaded the bases with no outs. Upon Phillips Valdez’s entry, Austin Riley uncorked a deep triple that missed the right field seats by a matter of inches. By the time he slid into third, it was 5-2.
Darren O’Day, Chris Martin, Will Smith, and Mark Melancon worked consecutive innings after Fried departed, with only Smith allowing a run. Tonight was Smith’s first time working on consecutive nights since being activated off the COVID list so he was a little shaky, but he worked around one run and three hits to log three strikeouts.
These two teams will meet again tomorrow night at 7:30 pm ET.