MIAMI (AP)Max Fried hit the corners, and Adam Duvall hit the foul pole.
The combination helped the Atlanta Braves break a four-game losing streak by beating the first-place Miami Marlins 2-1 Saturday.
Fried pitched 6 1/3 shutout innings, lowering his ERA to 1.24. Duvall broke a tie by golfing his 100th career homer, which caromed off the left-field pole with one out in the ninth.
”With the skid we had going, it was good to scrape that out,” Duvall said. ”I’d like to start hitting them a little bit straighter. That was like a 9-iron draw. I just caught enough there.”
Fried was in line for his fourth victory until Monte Harrison hit his first major league homer leading off the eighth against Will Smith for a 1-all tie.
”It’s a great moment, but we didn’t win the game,” Harrison said, ”so it doesn’t really mean much to me right now.”
The Braves regained the lead when Duvall lunged at an outside pitch from Brandon Kintzler (1-1) and pulled it down the line.
Marcell Ozuna produced the game’s first run when he led off the seventh with his fifth homer off Daniel Castano, making only his second major league start.
Fried, who allowed four hits and struck out seven, again pitched like an ace for the injury-plagued Braves.
”He’s like all good pitchers – they have a plan for every ball they throw,” manager Brian Snitker said. ”I feel so good with him on the mound. It’s fun to watch. He has a chance to be really good for a long time.”
The left-hander allowed at least one runner in each of the first three innings, but then had a stretch where he struck out six of seven batters.
”I just wanted to go out there and keep it simple, eat as many innings as I could and hopefully start a nice little winning streak,” Fried said.
The Braves’ other starters are 0-8, but thanks to Fried, Atlanta trails Miami by only one game in the NL East.
”We’ve obviously been unfortunate with some injuries,” Fried said. ”Hopefully we can hang in this thing and weather the storm. When they come back, we should be able to get on the right foot.”
Smith (1-0) worked the eighth. Mark Melancon pitched around a two-out single in the ninth for his fourth save to complete a six-hitter.
The Braves have been scuffling offensively without Ronald Acuna Jr. and Ozzie Albies, both on the injured list, and they won with seven hits.
Miami went 0 for 5 with runners in scoring position.
This weekend’s celebration of the Negro Leagues stirred a memory for Marlins manager Don Mattingly, who said he was playing at Single-A Greensboro in 1980 when he happened to meet the legendary pitcher Satchel Paige.
”I was in the South Atlantic League in a Shoney’s, just going in there after a game to get a burger, and Satchel was sitting there all by himself,” Mattingly said. ”We ran back and got a couple of balls, and I still to this day have a Satchel Paige baseball.”
Marlins: OF Corey Dickerson went on the bereavement list, and INF Lewin Diaz was recalled from the alternate training site. Dickerson is expected back early next week. Diaz singled as a pinch hitter in the ninth in his first major league at-bat.
Braves: LHP Robbie Erlin (0-0, 9.00) will make his first start of the season in the rubber game of the series Sunday, and his second since 2018. The Braves are hoping he can throw 65 to 70 pitches, Snitker said.
Marlins: RHP Elieser Hernandez (0-0, 2.79) will make his third start of the year.
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