Fried rolls as homer-happy Braves shut down Cardinals 3-0

Jul 6, 2022, 7:01 AM | Updated: 7:56 pm
Atlanta Braves catcher Travis d'Arnaud chops at second base after hitting an RBI double against the...

Atlanta Braves catcher Travis d'Arnaud chops at second base after hitting an RBI double against the St. Louis Cardinals during the sixth inning of a baseball game Wednesday, July 6, 2022, in Atlanta. (Curtis Compton/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP)

(Curtis Compton/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP)

ATLANTA (AP) — Marcell Ozuna and Eddie Rosario hit back-to-back homers, Max Fried threw six strong innings and the Atlanta Braves beat the slumping St. Louis Cardinals 3-0 on Wednesday night.

Fried (9-2) combined with three relievers on a seven-hitter. He gave up only five hits, including two to Albert Pujols, with one walk and four strikeouts in winning his nine consecutive decision after losses in his first two starts.

Fried was pulled after experiencing tightness in the back of his upper right leg.

“At that point of the game we wanted to be as careful as we could,” Fried said.

Manager Brian Snitker said he “didn’t want to take chances” with leaving Fried in the game, but said he expects the left-hander to make his next start.

Fried and Miles Mikolas (5-7) each threw four scoreless innings before Ozuna led off the fifth with his 17th homer deep into the left-field seats. Rosario followed with his first homer.

Rosario returned from the injured list on Monday after needing laser surgery to correct blurred vision and a swollen right retina, forcing him to miss 62 games.

“I was nervous,” Rosario said through a translator. “I wasn’t sure I could go out there and be myself and play the way I knew I can play. I’m glad to have the first homer.”

Austin Riley and Travis d’Arnaud added back-to-back doubles off Mikolas in the sixth, giving Atlanta a 3-0 lead.

St. Louis loaded the bases against right-hander Jesse Chavez in the eighth, but pinch-hitter Nolan Gorman grounded out to end the threat.

The Braves remained 2 1/2 games behind the New York Mets in the NL East. Atlanta is 26-7 since June 1, when it was 10 1/2 games behind the Mets.

The Braves flexed their power game with the homers by Ozuna and Rosario.

Atlanta has seven players, including two catchers, with 10 or more homers before the All-Star break for the first time since the franchise moved to Atlanta in 1966. The Braves lead the NL and rank second in the majors with 126 homers. The New York Yankees began the night with 133.

“That’s kind of how our team is,” Snitker said. “… These are big, strong guys who are hitting it.”

Left-hander A.J. Minter, who has shared the closer’s role with Will Smith while Kenley Jansen is on the injury list with an irregular heartbeat, pitched the ninth for his second save.

The Cardinals have lost four straight, their longest skid of the season, including the first three of the four-game series against Atlanta. They remain three games behind division-leading Milwaukee in the NL Central.

Mikolas allowed three runs on five hits in six innings, ending his streak of allowing no more than two earned runs in five consecutive starts and bemoaned the mistakes to Ozuna and Rosario.

“It’s tough, two pitches kind of got away from me,” Mikolas said. “… Sometimes you make mistakes and they hit singles, and sometimes they hit home runs.”

OFFENSE MISSING

The Cardinals left nine runners on base and have been outscored 16-4 in the first three games of the series. Tommy Edman had one hit as he returned to the leadoff spot for St. Louis after hitting seventh on Tuesday night.

“I know the hitters will come around,” Mikolas said. “Sometimes you have to bide your time. They will show up, I’m sure.”

DOUBLE-DIGIT HOMERS

Riley leads the Braves with 21 homers, followed by Ozuna (17), Dansby Swanson (14), Matt Olson (12), catchers Travis d’Arnaud (11) and William Contreras (10) and Adam Duvall (10).

TRAINER’S ROOM

Cardinals: LHP Steven Matz (left shoulder) is scheduled to throw 40 to 60 pitches for Triple-A Memphis on Thursday. Manager Oliver Marmol said Matz likely will need another rehab start before he comes off the injury list and joins the Cardinals’ rotation. “Do we have a need? Yes,” Marmol said. “Do we want to rush because we have a need? No.”

Braves: OF Adam Duvall is expected to start on Thursday for the first time since he was hit by a pitch on his left hand Saturday at Cincinnati. He played off the bench for the second straight game. … RHP Silvino Bracho was outrighted to Triple-A Gwinnett after being designated for assignment on Monday.

UP NEXT

The Braves will try to complete a four-game sweep when RHP Spencer Strider (4-2, 2.87 ERA) faces Cardinals LHP Matthew Liberatore (2-1, 5.66) in a matchup of rookies on Thursday night.

___

More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

This cover image released by Gallery Books shows "Straight Shooter: A Memoir of Second Chances and ...
Associated Press

ESPN’s Stephen A Smith has memoir coming in January 2023

NEW YORK (AP) — Dallas Cowboy fans be warned: ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith has a memoir coming out next year. 13A, an imprint of Gallery Books, announced Tuesday that Smith’s “Straight Shooter: A Memoir of Second Chances and First Takes” is scheduled for January 2023. According to 13A, Smith will share stories about growing up […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

UK watchdog probes police stop of sprinter dos Santos

LONDON (AP) — Britain’s police watchdog is investigating after armed officers pulled over Portuguese sprinter Ricardo dos Santos’ car in London two years after a traffic stop of the athlete led to accusations of racial profiling. The Metropolitan Police force said officers on a routine patrol pulled over a car in west London early Sunday […]
1 day ago
FILE - Australia's Ellia Green, front, scores a try as Fiji's Raijieli Daveua, tries to defend duri...
Associated Press

Olympic champion Ellia Green finds liberation in transition

BRISBANE, Australia (AP) — Ellia Green realized as a young child — long before becoming an Olympic champion — that a person’s identity and a gender assigned at birth can be very different things. Now, about 20 years later, one of the stars of Australia’s gold medal-winning women’s rugby sevens team at the 2016 Olympics […]
1 day ago
Arsenal's Gabriel Jesus runs with the ball against Everton during the first half of a pre-season fr...
Associated Press

World Cup Watch: Jesus out to reclaim Brazil’s No. 9 jersey

It’s one of the biggest honors in soccer: Playing as the center forward for Brazil at a World Cup. Gabriel Jesus knows all about that, having been handed the No. 9 jersey at the 2018 tournament in Russia and — as every Brazilian is acutely aware — failing to score a goal. Will he get […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

Indian court urged to settle issues that led to FIFA ban

NEW DELHI (AP) — India’s top court is expected to take up a government plea to settle issues that led to the national soccer federation’s suspension by FIFA and the possible loss of its hosting rights for the Under-17 Women’s World Cup in October. The FIFA suspension follows the Supreme Court’s appointment of a three-member […]
1 day ago
FILE - Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud throws during the first half in the Rose Bowl NCAA colleg...
Associated Press

AP Top 25 Reality Check: Pouring caution on that optimism

Low expectations rarely disappoint. That’s not to say your favorite team will fail to live up to the promise that comes with landing a spot in The Associated Press preseason Top 25 college football poll presented by Regions Bank that was released Monday. But numbers suggest it is best to sprinkle a healthy amount of […]
1 day ago
Fried rolls as homer-happy Braves shut down Cardinals 3-0