Josh Donaldson homered in his first two at-bats and Max Fried tossed 6 1/3 strong innings as the visiting Atlanta Braves breezed to an 11-5 rout of the Cleveland Indians on Sunday night.
Donaldson drove in four runs while Freddie Freeman had a pair of RBI singles to highlight his three-hit performance.
Ozzie Albies had a two-run single and joined Freeman in scoring twice for the Braves, who saw each member of the starting lineup record at least one of the team’s 16 hits.
Donaldson provided the fireworks by depositing a 1-1 slider from starter Shane Bieber (2-1) over the wall in center field for a solo homer in the first inning. The 2015 American League Most Valuable Player wasn’t done, launching a 1-2 fastball from Bieber deep into the bleachers in left field for a three-run shot in the second inning.
Donaldson’s multi-homer performance was his first since Sept. 26, 2017, when he went deep twice off Boston Red Sox ace Chris Sale while playing with the Toronto Blue Jays.
The 33-year-old Donaldson’s power display on Sunday night nearly eclipsed his totals accumulated in a 16-game stretch with the Indians last season. He had three homers and seven RBIs in that span.
Fried (3-0) worked his way out of a bases-loaded jam in the first inning and cruised into the seventh before surrendering Francisco Lindor’s 99th career homer.
The 25-year-old Fried exited the contest one batter later, being charged for two runs on seven hits to go along with six strikeouts.
Cleveland scratched for four more runs, with Roberto Perez going deep off his former teammate Josh Tomlin in the eighth inning.
Ender Inciarte sent an opposite-field double to left to plate Brian McCann to give Atlanta a 6-0 lead in the third inning. Inciarte joined Dansby Swanson in scoring on Albies’ single to right.
Donaldson led off the fourth inning with a single to left for his third hit of the night. He advanced to second on a wild pitch from Cody Anderson before coming around to score on Freeman’s RBI single.
—Field Level Media