Max Fried might have saved the season.
At the very least, he stopped the bleeding on Friday night and elevated the Braves to 1.5 games over the Phillies with just eight games to go.
Fried was brilliant from the start at Petco Park. Facing the team who took him in the first round of the 2012 draft, he tossed nine nearly-perfect frames and never ran into trouble. He needed just 98 pitches to disperse of a talented Padres lineup. He struck out four and walked none. It’s his second Maddux of the season — a complete game in less than 100 pitches — with the other coming in Baltimore last month.
The victory improves Fried’s season-long ERA to 3.12 with a record of 13-7.
The Braves took an early lead as Austin Riley drove in Ozzie Albies in the first inning. Dansby Swanson, mired in a month-long slump, then hit a two-run down just over the right field wall to extend the lead to 3-0 in the second. Albies would score again in the sixth to make it 4-0 on an Adam Duvall single. That’s all that was needed behind Fried’s impressive outing.
The Braves and Padres will continue the series on Saturday evening at 7:15pm ET as Huascar Ynoa is set to battle San Diego Padres Starter TBD.