EditorsNote: Corrects to on-base streak in final graf
The two winningest pitchers in the National League went head-to-head on Thursday night, and the youngster came out on top.
Max Fried, 25, allowed one hit over seven scoreless innings and pitched the Atlanta Braves to a 4-2 win over veteran Stephen Strasburg and the visiting Washington Nationals in the opener of a four-game series.
It was the seventh straight win for Atlanta, which extended its lead in the NL East to eight games over the Nationals. The Braves have won 11 in a row at home, one shy of matching the modern-era franchise record, and 15 of their last 17 overall.
Fried (16-4) retired the final 19 batters he faced and has won seven straight decisions. He did not allow a walk and struck out nine. Over his last six starts, Fried has a 3.15 ERA with 47 strikeouts in 34 1/3 innings.
Atlanta’s Shane Greene worked a scoreless eighth inning, but reliever Mark Melancon lost the shutout when Victor Robles hit a two-run homer, his 17th, in the ninth.
Strasburg (16-6) pitched six innings and allowed three runs, four hits and four walks with seven strikeouts. It was his first loss to Atlanta this season in four starts.
The Braves scored two runs in the first inning. Ozzie Albies drove home Ronald Acuna Jr. with his 38th double. It was the league-leading 112th run scored by Acuna. Albies scored when Freddie Freeman singled to left for his league-leading 115th RBI.
Acuna added a solo homer in the fifth inning, swinging on a 3-0 fastball. It was the 37th home run for Acuna and his first since Aug. 21.
The Braves made it 4-0 in the eighth when Brian McCann drove in Albies with a single.
The Nationals got a hit from Anthony Rendon in the first inning, extending his on-base streak to 21 games. But Washington did not have another base runner until Brian Dozier walked with two outs in the eighth.
—Field Level Media