5 takeaways after Braves win series against Nationals

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Braves starting pitcher Max Fried, who secured Atlanta's first hit in 5-4 win over Nationals, comments on his approach at the plate.

The Braves fell an out short of their second consecutive sweep after losing a late lead Saturday, but they earned another series win by defeating the Nationals 5-4 Sunday at Truist Park.

Here are five takeaways from Sunday:

1. Second baseman Ozzie Albies and outfielder Adam Duvall each hit two-run homers off Nationals lefty Patrick Corbin.

ExplorePhotos: Braves homers secure win over Nationals

It was Albies’ first home run since July 27. In the span between homers, he was hitting .238 with one double and two RBIs. Duvall’s blast was his second since rejoining the Braves. He and Jorge Soler have combined for five home runs since the Braves acquired both at the July 30 trade deadline.

“It’s so reassuring to me to see him out there,” manager Brian Snitker said of Duvall. “You just don’t worry about him. I can’t say enough about Adam Duvall the player, the person, how consistent he is, how he goes about it. I’ve loved having him back.”

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Braves manager Brian Snitker comments on Adam Duvall's return to Atlanta's lineup following a two-run homer in 5-4 win over Nationals.

The Braves are 6-3 since the deadline. An in-season acquisition has homered in five of those games.

2. Starter Max Fried pitched around some sticky situations to hold the Nationals to one run on seven hits over six innings. A two-out double in the first didn’t hurt him. A lead-off single in the second was erased on a double play. Three of the first four Nationals reached in the fourth but Fried limited them to one run. He allowed two one-out singles in the sixth but retired the next two to finish his day.

“It’s just slowing everything down, focus on my breathing, realizing that the only thing I can control is executing this pitch right here and now,” Fried said. “Not trying to do too much in one pitch and trusting the defense. We have a really good defense. If I can get a softly hit ball that’s hit on the ground, we have a good chance of turning two. So not trying to do too much, relaxing and really just focusing on being in the present.”

3. Fried also had a single, his career-best 12th hit of the campaign. He’s hitting .324 (12-for-37). He could become the first Braves pitcher to hit .300 (minimum 40 plate appearances) since Warren Spahn hit .333 in 1964, per MLB statistician Sarah Langs.

“Whatever I can do to help the team win,” Fried said. “I want to go out there and put together good at-bats, quick innings. Whatever I can do when I have my

Braves 5, Nationals 4 (box score)

opportunity to go out there, I’m going to leave it on the field. So whether it’s at the plate, on the mound, whatever I can do.”

4. First baseman Freddie Freeman, who exited Saturday due to an upper respiratory infection, was left out of the starting lineup but entered at first base as part of a double switch in the seventh inning.

“I talked to him this morning before he got here and I told him, ‘We’re going to need you,’ ” Snitker said. “It was a perfect storm right there to get him in. He said he’d be good to go. It was good to not start him and give him a few more hours to regroup a little bit.”

5. The Braves moved to 57-55 with their win, jumping the Mets in the National League East standings. It’s the first time the Braves have been ahead of the Mets since April 28.

While the Braves have played well lately, the Phillies have been even better. They won their eighth in a row after sweeping the Mets this weekend. There are 50 games remaining for the Braves and Phillies.

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Braves manager Brian Snitker comments on Atlanta's future schedule and day off as they close in on Phillies in the standings.

Stat to know

9-4 (The Braves are 9-4 against the Nationals this season.)

Quotable

“That was a good win, especially on the heels of (Saturday’s late loss).” – Snitker

Up next

The Braves are off Monday and begin a three-game series Tuesday against the Reds at Truist Park. Drew Smyly (7-3, 4.50) is slated to face right-hander Sonny Gray (4-6, 4.44).