Max Fried turned in another spectacular performance on the mound while Ronald Acuña Jr. homered twice as the Braves hammered the Philadelphia Phillies 8-0. Atlanta sweeps the doubleheader and improves to 11-6 on the season.
Fried struck out Andrew McCutchen to open the game before Rhys Hoskins and Bryce Harper reached with back-to-back singles. However, Fried would come back in a big way striking out J.T. Realmuto and Jean Segura to escape the jam.
Max Fried is dialed in pic.twitter.com/LtcYercSpT— FOX Sports: Braves (@FOXSportsBraves) August 9, 2020
Phillies rookie Spencer Howard allowed a couple of baserunners in the first and then breezed through the second before running into some trouble in the third. Ronald Acuña Jr. reached on a one out single but was erased on a ground ball by Dansby Swanson. Swanson beat the relay at first which gave Freddie Freeman a chance. Freeman ambushed a first pitch fastball from Howard and drove it out to the opposite field to put the Braves in front 2-0.
Howard made it through the fourth, but Atlanta added some insurance in the fifth when Acuña picked on a first pitch breaking ball and drove it out to right for a solo shot to make it 3-0.
Swanson lined to center for the first out, but Freeman struck again with a liner into the right field corner. Harper stumbled as he fielded the ball and Freeman kept right on trucking all the way to third. Howard then struck out Ozuna and would exit with a runner at third and two outs. Travis d’Arnaud greeted Trevor Kelley with a ringing double to left that scored Freeman to extend the lead to 4-0.
Howard’s debut was a mixed bag as he was stung by a pair of homers. He would exit having allowed seven hits and four runs in 4 2/3 innings. He walked two and struck out four.
Philadelphia threatened in the fifth against Fried as Scott Kingery reached on a one-out single and then moved up to second on a two-out walk by McCutchen. Fried fell behind 2-0 to Hoskins and then hit him on a 3-2 pitch to load the bases. Fried again fell behind Harper 2-0 but got him to fly out to center on a 2-1 pitch to end the inning.
It was another impressive outing for Fried who allowed just four hits over five shutout innings. He struck out six and walked just one while throwing 91 pitches.
The Braves added four insurance runs in the sixth. Austin Riley singled and Acuña stayed hot driving a 91-mph sinker from Kelley out to right for a two-run homer to push the lead to 6-0.
Swanson followed with a single and came all the way around to score on a Freeman double off Phillies reliever Austin Davis. Marcell Ozuna followed with a run-scoring single to push the lead to 8-0.
Darren O’Day tossed a perfect sixth and Chad Sobotka closed things out in the seventh.
Atlanta’s offense came into the day struggling but busted out in a big way against Phillies pitching. Acuña had a monster game at the plate going 4-for-4 with a pair of homers and three for the day. Freeman went 3-for-4 and finished a single shy of a cycle. He went 6-for-8 in the doubleheader. Ozuna and d’Arnaud finished with two hits each.
The Braves will have a chance to record a series win on Monday with Sean Newcomb matching up against Phillies right-hander Aaron Nola.