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Max Fried throws Atlanta's first 9-inning complete game since 2022, beats Marlins 5-0

ATLANTA (AP) — Max Fried pitched a three-hitter for Atlanta’s first nine-inning complete game since 2022, Adam Duvall had a two-run homer and and the Atlanta Braves blanked the Miami Marlins for the second night in a row, 5-0 on Tuesday.

After a rough start to the season, Fried (2-0) looks like himself again. It took just 1 hour, 54 minutes for the left-hander to mow down the hapless Marlins, who were shut out for the second night in a row by the Braves and have gone 20 innings without a run.

“I was just trying to get back to being who I am,” Fried said. “Get ground balls, be on the attack.”

Fried retired only two hitters in his first start of the season, giving up three runs at Philadelphia before he was lifted, and surrendered 10 hits and seven earned runs in 4 1/3 innings in his next appearance vs. Arizona.

Since then, the left-hander has beaten the Marlins twice, giving up just one earned run in 15 1/3 innings, and lowered his ERA to 4.97 after it stood at 40.50 after his first outing.

“I was looking in the seventh inning and his pitch count was where it should be in the fifth,” manager Brian Snitker said. “I had a good feeling he could go nine.”

Fried was so dominant the Braves didn't have anyone in the bullpen even bother warming up — a far cry from the workload he put on the relievers in his first two starts.

“I had to pay them back,” Fried said.

The left-hander used his slider more than he had all season, conceding that “it's a really good pitch that I had forgotten about a little bit.” The strategy worked to near-perfection as he needed only 92 pitches — 69 of them strikes — to dispatch the free-swinging Marlins.

Fried fanned six and didn’t walk anyone in the major leagues’ fourth complete game this season.

Fried had Atlanta's previous complete game last April 28 against the Mets, but that one lasted only five innings before it was called because of rain. The last Braves starter to go the full nine innings was Bryce Elder in an 8-0 victory over Washington on Sept. 26, 2022.

The Marlins remained 0-for-Atlanta after getting blanked 3-0 in the series opener Monday. With a week still to go in April, Miami is already 11 1/2 games behind the Braves in the NL East.

Emmanuel Rivera singled for the Marlins leading off the third but was quickly erased by a double play. Bryan De La Cruz reached on an error by third baseman Austin Riley, but he too was wiped off the base paths by a double play.

Luis Arráez had a pair of singles to account for Miami’s other baserunners.

Duvall hit his second homer of the season in the sixth, capping a three-run inning that stretched Atlanta's lead off Trevor Rogers (0-3).

Riley used a nifty, head-first slide to score on Travis d'Arnaud's sacrifice fly before Duvall golfed a low pitch from Rogers over the Marlins bullpen in left field.

The Braves scored a pair of unearned runs in the second.

With Marcell Ozuna at first after a walk, Duvall hit an easy grounder to third baseman Otto Lopez, who was so focused on turning a double play that he bobbled the ball twice before firing late to first.

Michael Harris II brought home Ozuna with a double down the right-field line and David Fletcher, filling in for injured Ozzie Albies, drove one deep enough to score Duvall on a sacrifice fly.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Marlins: LHP Josh Simpson was having surgery to repair the ulnar nerve in his elbow. He was recently transferred to the 60-day injured list and is expected to miss at least three months.

Braves: Riley was hit on the left arm by a pitch in the seventh inning and hopped around in a bit of pain, but he was able to stay in the game. ... Albies (fractured toe) should be ready to come off the injured list when he's eligible Friday, manager Brian Snitker confirmed, just in time for a weekend series against the first-place Cleveland Guardians.

UP NEXT

RH Reynaldo López (2-0, 0.50 ERA) looks to keep up his strong start with the Braves when he faces the Marlins on Wednesday. Signed as a free agent and converted back into a starter, Lopez has allowed just one earned run and 11 hits over his first three appearances for Atlanta, with 18 strikeouts in 18 innings. RH Sixto Sánchez (0-1, 6.14) gets the nod for the Marlins, making his first start of the season after seven relief appearances.

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AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb