The Braves were thrashed by the Marlins 14-8 Tuesday at Truist Park. Former Braves slugger Adam Duvall was responsible for half of his new team’s runs, going 4-for-5 with two homers and seven RBIs. The defeat put the Braves on their second three-game losing streak of the season.
Here are five takeaways from Tuesday:
1. Max Fried was marvelous in 2020, posting a 2.25 ERA while the Braves won 10 of his 11 starts. He’s already had two outings worse than any he had a season ago in the past two weeks. One start after allowing five runs in two innings against the Nationals, it got even worse. Fried allowed eight runs (seven earned) on nine hits in four innings against the Marlins. He struck out three, walked two and hit two batters.
After the Braves took a 3-0 lead into the second inning, the Marlins struck three times against Fried. Brian Anderson homered to open the inning. Fried retired the next two hitters but then saw four consecutive Marlins reach, two of whom doubled. The Marlins broke the 3-3 tie in the ensuing inning when Duvall hit his first home run.
Fried attacked the strike zone but couldn’t finish hitters. Take Starling Marte’s and Garrett Cooper’s at-bats in the fourth inning, for instance. Fried had Marte 0-2 but plunked him with a slider. He had two strikes on Cooper and hit him with a breaking ball. Fried had Anderson 1-2 on the homer. Miguel Rojas doubled off an 0-2 curveball in the second.
“The stuff was better than I thought it was in D.C.,” manager Brian Snitker said. “He had two out, nobody on twice and the innings got away from him. He couldn’t put anybody away, but I thought the stuff was a little better than it was in D.C. It’s something he’s going to have to work through.”
The hit batters came back to hurt Fried. Five consecutive Marlins reached in the fourth – sparked by Fried hitting Marte with two strikes and two outs – and Miami tacked on another four runs to build an 8-4 lead.
“Tonight was all about not being able to put guys away with two strikes, making that mistake and getting beat on it” Fried said. “And then on top of that, just not getting that third out. There were a lot of two-out hits, just not finishing guys off.”
2. Fried stayed in the game to hit in the bottom of the fourth inning, ripping a double and later scoring, before he was lifted for Josh Tomlin in the fifth. Fried hit because it was earlier in the game and the Braves are using a shorter bench. But Fried was injured while running the bases during the inning. He had a precautionary MRI on his right hamstring following the game. The southpaw didn’t have an update when he spoke with reporters after undergoing the MRI.
“I was going second to third and it locked up, tightened up on me,” he said. “Standing over at third base, it started to slowly tighten up. Running home, I definitely felt it a little bit more. I think it’s just one of those things where we’ll see how I feel tomorrow and take it from there.”
3. Duvall hasn’t lacked motivation against his old team. He’s homered three times in two games this series. He ripped a two-run double down the left-field line in the third that scored Miami’s seventh and eighth runs. He added his fourth RBI in the sixth off Tomlin. He capped his night with a three-run blast in the seventh.
His seven RBIs fell two shy of his career high, which he set in the Braves’ memorable 29-9 thumping of the Marlins last season. The Braves decided to non-tender Duvall over the winter, which was undoubtedly a blow to their offense. Now, they’re forced to face him with a division rival.
“It’s special for him,” second baseman Ozzie Albies said. “He’s a great teammate, great guy. Good for him that he had that night tonight.”
Snitker, who’s always sung Duvall’s praises, was asked what it felt like watching Duvall do that to his team: “It was excruciating. I wish he’d done it against somebody else. We’ve seen him do that here. The year he had last year. They came in bunches for him. We didn’t pitch him well. We didn’t pitch him well at all.”
4. In what now feels like an annual tradition, Snitker rearranged his lineup and saw immediate results. It didn’t lead to a win, but it at least provided some reason for encouragement.
Freddie Freeman doubled in his first at-bat back hitting second, where he starred during his MVP 2020 season. Marcell Ozuna followed him with his first homer of the season, putting the Braves up 2-0 after three at-bats. Albies, moved down for second in the order to fifth, homered later in the inning. He entered the night hitting .128 in the first 10 games.
Freeman, Ozuna and Albies all had multi-hit efforts. Ozuna went 3-for-4 after entering the night just 5-for-36 on the season. The Braves had 11 hits and scored eight runs. The offense certainly wasn’t their issue.
5. Outfielder Cristian Pache left in the fifth inning after experiencing left-groin tightness. Snitker said the 22-year-old will go on the injured list. The Braves will announce a corresponding move Wednesday. Pache is 4-for-30 (.133) on the season.
Stat of the game
11.45 (Max Fried’s ERA through three starts. The lefty didn’t allow more than three runs in any of his 11 starts last season. He’s already allowed four or more runs in two of his three starts this year.)
Marlins 14, Braves 8 (box score)
“It’s definitely a tough way to end the night, especially giving up the lead and having the kind of outing I did. I’m just trying to move on, take the positives from it and go forward from there, try to learn from all the mistakes I made.” - Fried on suffering a hamstring injury at the end of his difficult night
This day in history
Hall of Famer and Braves legend Hank Aaron made his major-league debut April 13, 1954. Aaron, who was 20 years old, hit fifth in the lineup and went 0-for-5 in the Milwaukee Braves’ 9-8 loss to Cincinnati.
Charlie Morton makes his third start (and second of the homestand) Wednesday against Nick Neidert and the Marlins. Morton has allowed four runs while striking out 12 and walking three in his 11 innings this season. Both of Morton’s starts came against the Phillies.
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Credit: Jason Getz / Jason.Getz@ajc.com