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Freeman and Duvall launch homers for Braves in rain-shortened win over Reds

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Tonight’s game only lasted seven innings, but it was enough for the Braves to scamper ahead and take down the Reds in the first game of four this weekend.

Cincinnati Reds v Atlanta Braves Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

After jumping ahead early with three runs in the first inning, the early offensive output from Atlanta was enough for Max Fried to hold the Reds off until the rain came around and washed away any chance that Cincinnati had of winning.

The Braves started off tonight’s game in ideal fashion. Max Fried threw a 1-2-3 inning to start off the game, and then the first three batters for the blue-sleeved Braves all made it on base. Ronald Acuña Jr. kicked things off with a double, then Ozzie Albies got on base with a single. Freddie Freeman’s at-bat was exceptional for two reasons. Firstly, he battled Anthony DeSclafani for eight pitches. Secondly, the eighth pitch was the one that Freddie lifted into the opposite field seats in left field for a three-run homer. That gave the Braves an early lead and they were in control from that point forward.

Atlanta got a big lift from Max Fried, who was on “Maximum” mode when it came to his performance tonight. After a wobble in the second inning where he gave up three singles (including a two-out RBI single from none other than Jose Peraza), Fried settled into the game quite nicely after that. He only gave up one hit the rest of the way and he was actually on 76 pitches when the game was stopped due to rain.

There’s no telling whether or not he would have made it through that inning and continued on, but with the way things had been going from the second inning on (which is when he retired 11 straight batters up until Brian McCann committed catcher’s interference in the sixth inning) you would have been safe betting on Fried to at least make it through seven. In the end it didn’t matter, but it would have been intriguing to see. Some good defense from Josh Donaldson also helped the Braves in their pursuit of victory tonight.

While Max Fried and the defense were collectively able to hold Cincinnati’s offense at bay, Atlanta’s offense was not done scoring. It took a while but the next run eventually came in the sixth inning, which is when Adam Duvall once again made his presence felt after what was apparently an entirely too long stint at Triple-A. Duvall led off the sixth inning by hitting one about a section or two away from where Freddie’s first inning bomb landed. The solo dinger made it 4-1, and that’s where things stood going into the top of the seventh inning.

Max Fried threw one pitch and then the clouds opened up and we were getting a good old fashioned summer storm in Georgia. With no end to the bad weather around SunTrust Park in sight, the powers-that-be eventually called the game right then and there and the Braves picked up win number 65 of the season.

Rain-shortened wins count just the same as regulation wins, and the Braves ended up picking their third win in a row and also picked up a half-game on the Nationals as well. The Phillies won today, so that means that Washington and Philadelphia are now both seven games behind your 65-45 Atlanta Braves.