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Max Fried tosses three scoreless, Ronald Acuña Jr. homers as Braves down Orioles

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Fried tossed three scoreless innings while Acuña launched a lead off home run.

Atlanta Braves v Tampa Bay Rays Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Max Fried made his final tune-up as the Atlanta Braves defeated the Baltimore Orioles 8-5 Saturday night at CoolToday Park.

Fried struck out the side in the first and would exit after three scoreless having allowed two hits and two walks to go along with five strikeouts. He will be on the mound for the Braves Thursday when they open the season in Philadelphia.

Ronald Acuña Jr. gave the Braves an early lead with a leadoff homer off John Means to open the home half of the first. The homer was Acuña’s fifth of the spring and he appears to be ready for Opening Day.

The Braves extended the lead in the fourth as Austin Riley drove home Marcell Ozuna, Travis d’Arnaud and Dansby Swanson with a bases loaded double to push the lead to 4-0. Alex Jackson would later bring Riley home with a double of his own to extend the lead to 5-0.

Cristian Pache put on a show defensively throwing a runner out at the plate in the second, a diving catch in the gap in the third and a leaping catch in right center in the fourth where he ended up going through the bullpen door in the outfield fence. He went 0-for-2 at the plate, but his defense is going to be a lot of fun to watch on a daily basis.

Josh Tomlin tossed a scoreless fourth and then gave way to Will Smith. Smith retired the first two hitters he saw before issuing back-to-back walks to Ryan McKenna and Pat Valaika. Ramon Urias followed with a single that scored McKenna to give the Orioles their first run. Thomas Burrows replaced Smith and allowed a single to Pedro Severino but Acuña gunned down pinch runner Jordan Westburg to end the inning.

Atlanta added two more runs in the fifth when Marcell Ozuna singled home Ozzie Albies and Freddie Freeman to extend the lead to 7-1. Luke Jackson held Baltimore in check in the sixth and A.J. Minter worked a scoreless seventh. Travis Demeritte brought home Sean Kazmar in the bottom half of the frame to extend the lead to 8-1.

Jasseel De La Cruz struggled in the eighth. Adley Rutschman doubled home Gunnar Henderson with one out to cut the deficit to 8-2. After a walk to Yusniel Diaz, Tyler Nevin homered to center to make it 8-5. De La Cruz would exit having allowed three hits, a walk and four runs in just a third of an inning.

Connor Johnstone allowed three hits but recorded the final five outs of the game to seal the win.

The Braves will head over to Port Charlotte Sunday for their final matchup against the Tampa Bay Rays. Charlie Morton is scheduled to start the game for Atlanta while Tampa will go with left-hander Ryan Yarbrough.