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Ozuna’s 16th homer in 7th breaks scoreless tie as Fried, Braves blank Nationals 2-0

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ATLANTA (AP) — Marcell Ozuna broke a scoreless tie with his 16th homer in the seventh, Max Fried threw eight strong innings and the Atlanta Braves beat the Washington Nationals 2-0 on Tuesday night.

Fried (5-2) allowed seven hits with one walk and six strikeouts while finishing three outs shy of his second consecutive complete game and third of the season. He gave credit to a defense which set a season high by turning four double plays.

“Not much you can say besides our defense was amazing,” Fried said. “Some incredible plays.”

Fried was helped by double plays in the first, fourth, sixth and seventh innings and his pickoff of Jesse Winker following Winker’s leadoff single in the fifth. Joey Meneses had three singles but was erased by the double plays in the fourth and seventh innings.

“Some tough ones, too,” said Braves manager Brian Snitker. “There weren’t just routine double plays.”

Fried outlasted Washington right-hander Jake Irvin, who set a career high with his 10th strikeout when Austin Riley ended the sixth inning by fanning for the third time. Irvin allowed only two hits with two walks and no runs in six innings.

Ozuna greeted Jacob Barnes (2-2) by lining the go-ahead homer into the left field seats to open the seventh. Matt Olson followed with a single to left field, moved to third on Sean Murphy’s one-out single and scored on Jarred Kelenic’s sacrifice fly.

Raisel Iglesias recorded the final three outs for his 13th save.

Anticipating a strong game by Fried, Nationals manager Dave Martinez loaded his lineup with right-handed hitters, including Meneses.

“He’s been good,” said Martinez of Fried. “He’s coming off a complete game and pitching well.”

Snitker continued to tweak his lineup following Ronald Acuña Jr.’s season-ending torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee on Sunday. Michael Harris II had two walks as the leadoff hitter after Snitker tried Ozzie Albies in Acuña’s usual spot atop the lineup on Monday.

Ozuna has been the constant in an offense that has struggled even before losing Acuña.

“I have confidence all the time,” Ozuna said. “We have a very good team. We just lost Acuña. We can do nothing about it.”

TRAINER’S ROOM

Nationals: OF James Wood, one of Washington’s top prospects, was placed on the seven-day injured list at Triple-A Rochester with right hamstring tightness. Wood, 21, is hitting .355 with nine homers and 10 stolen bases.

Braves: Fans received Acuña 2023 NL MVP bobbleheads in the second game after Acuña’s injury. The absence of Acuña on the field didn’t hurt interest in the giveaway. Attendance was 37,589, including a long line of fans before the gates opened.

UP NEXT

RHP Spencer Schwellenbach will be recalled from Double-A Mississippi to make his major league debut for Atlanta against Washington LHP MacKenzie Gore (3-4, 3.04 ERA). Schwellenbach, 23, was a second-round draft pick from Nebraska in 2021 who was 4-1 with a 1.80 ERA in eight games with High-A Rome and Mississippi this season. “He’s a college guy who has gotten results,” Snitker said. “It’s kind of attractive when you get guys out. That’s the way you get noticed.”

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AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb

By CHARLES ODUM
AP Sports Writer

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