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Ozzie Albies, Adam Duvall homer, Braves hang on for 5-4 win over Nationals

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Max Fried allowed one run over six good innings.

Washington Nationals v Atlanta Braves Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images

Ozzie Albies and Adam Duvall both homered and the Atlanta Braves held on late to defeat the Washington Nationals, 5-4.

The Nationals struck first against Fried in the third. Luis Garcia led off the inning with a single and then moved up to second on a walk by pitcher Patrick Corbin. Victor Robles tried to move the runners up with a bunt but Austin Riley deflected the ball to Fried on a diving attempt. Fried through to second to nab Corbin for the first out. Fried jumped ahead of Alcides Escobar but couldn’t put him away as he muscled a single to center that scored Garcia to put the Nationals in front 1-0. Fried came back and struck out Ryan Zimmerman and then got Josh Bell to ground out to escape any further damage.

The lead wouldn’t last for long. Corbin sat down Joc Pederson and Kevan Smith to begin the inning but then allowed a two-out single to Fried. Fried is 12-for-36 at the plate this season and those 12 hits are a new career-high. Ozzie Albies made Corbin pay two pitches later when he drove one over the centerfield wall for a two-run home run to put Atlanta in front 2-1.

Fried allowed a single in the fourth, set the side down in order in the fifth and then ran into more trouble in the sixth. Bell Singled with one out and then moved all the way to third on another single by Yadiel Hernandez. However, Fried dug in from there and struck out Carter Kieboom for the second out and then got Tres Barrera to ground out to preserve the lead.

The Braves went back to work against Corbin in the sixth. Albies led off the inning with a walk but was erased on a ground out by Jorge Soler. Soler would be erased on a ground out by Dansby Swanson for the second out. That would bring Austin Riley to the plate who drove one into the right field corner for a double. Swanson scored all the way from first to increase the lead to 3-1. Two pitches later, Adam Duvall made it 5-1 with a line drive homer to left.

Fried would exit after the sixth. It wasn’t his sharpest performance by any means but he was able to limit the damage. He allowed seven hits and a walk but just one run over seven innings. He struck out five while throwing 105 pitches with 69 going for strikes.

Jesse Chavez replaced Fried and quickly gave two of those runs back. Garcia led off the inning with a double off the wall in right center and then came in to score on a one-out single by Robles. Chavez struck out Escobar but then allowed a single to Zimmerman that scored Robles to make it 5-3.

Brian Snitker had seen enough and would pop out of the dugout and call for a double switch. Richard Rodriguez came into the game to pitch and Freddie Freeman took over at first base. Freeman left Saturday’s game after the first inning due to an upper respiratory infection and didn’t start Sunday. Rodriguez got Bell to ground out to Albies to end the inning.

Rodriguez stayed in and retired Hernandez for the first out but then issued a free pass to Kieboom. Dave Martinez would then send Juan Soto to the plate to pinch hit for Barrera. Rodriguez jumped ahead 1-2 in the count and then struck him out looking on an inside fastball. Garcia then flew out to end the inning.

Chris Martin came out for the ninth and retired the first two hitters he faced. Escobar then lifted a deep drive to left that Duvall had and lost in a leaping attempt at the wall. Zimmerman followed with a double to the gap in left center that scored Escobar to make it 5-4. However, Martin avoided disaster for a second straight night getting Bell to ground out to Albies to end the game.

Atlanta improves to 57-55 on the season and move into second place in the NL East standings passing the Mets. They will head into Monday’s off day two games back of the Philadelphia Phillies for the division lead.