Charlie Morton, Max Fried come through in Braves’ biggest series of year

Credit: Atlanta Braves

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Braves manager Brian Snitker comments on the effectiveness of the top of the rotation as the team nears clinching its fourth division title.

Credit: Atlanta Braves

The Braves have a pair of aces atop their rotation, and when they needed them most, both pitched phenomenally with the division on the line.

First, Charlie Morton held the Phillies scoreless for seven innings on Tuesday, helping the Braves to a 2-1 win that dealt a major blow to Philadelphia’s chances of unseating the three-time division champs. Max Fried, coming off a shutout, surrendered one earned runs (two runs overall) over seven innings Wednesday in the Braves’ 7-2 victory that cut their magic number to one and has them positioned to clinch the National League East as early as Thursday.

“It just alleviated any kind of stress or anxiety coming into it, just knowing that he went out there and laid everything on the line,” Fried said of following Morton. “Obviously, he had such a good start, I just wanted to follow that up. Just wanted to be able to go out there and keep us in the game, knowing that this lineup could explode at any second. ... I just wanted to put us in a good position to win.”

Morton and Fried combined to surrender one earned run on seven hits over 14 innings. They struck out 16 and walked two. If their late-season performance carries into the postseason, they’ll give the Braves the chance to hang with anybody.

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