Fried’s shutout, d’Arnaud’s homer lead Braves to another win

Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Max Fried (54) is greeted by catcher Travis d'Arnaud after pitching a four-hitter against the Baltimore Orioles in a baseball game, Friday, Aug. 20, 2021, in Baltimore. The Braves won 3-0. (AP Photo/Terrance Williams)

Credit: AP

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Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Max Fried (54) is greeted by catcher Travis d'Arnaud after pitching a four-hitter against the Baltimore Orioles in a baseball game, Friday, Aug. 20, 2021, in Baltimore. The Braves won 3-0. (AP Photo/Terrance Williams)

Credit: AP

Five takeaways from the Braves’ 3-0 win over the Baltimore Orioles at Camden Yards on Friday night:

1. Max Fried dominated the Orioles as he pitched the first shutout and the first nine-inning complete game of his major-league career. He allowed just four hits, three of which were singles, and no walks. He threw only 90 pitches, including 63 through six innings, in an efficient performance that was, well, Maddux-like. He was in command throughout the game.

“It’s something that I’ve always wanted to do,” Fried said of the nine-inning shutout. He realized as early as mid-game that his pitch count was low, but he didn’t begin to consider the possibility of a complete game until he went to the mound in the eighth inning.

“I hadn’t been out there to the eighth so far, so I think that was kind of that hurdle where (I thought) this is feasible, it’s an option,” he said. “When I got that opportunity, I didn’t want to waste it and be fine and kind of nibble around. I wanted to go and attack them.”

The result, according to MLB statistics expert Sarah Langs, was the first Braves shutout on 90 pitches or fewer since Greg Maddux’s 89-pitch shutout on Sept. 13, 2000.

Fried had been credited with one complete game previously in his career, but that August 2019 start at Truist Park (then named SunTrust Park) carried an asterisk: The game lasted only six innings because of rain, thunder and lightning.

2. Travis d’Arnaud celebrated his new two-year, $16 million contract, announced earlier Friday, with a big game. In his first plate appearance post-signing, he hit a two-run, 401-foot homer to left field in the second inning. He also had an infield single and a walk and drew high praise from Fried for his pitch-calling.

“I told him after the game, ‘Dude, you’re worth every penny,’” manager Brian Snitker said of d’Arnaud’s performance.

“What a story!” Fried said of d’Arnaud’s day. “You definitely could feel there was a little jolt when we got the news he had signed an extension. He honestly deserves it, and it was a great way to celebrate that.”

“Oh, man, this game gives a lot,” d’Arnaud said of his special day. “It blew my mind a little bit.”

Braves 3, Orioles 0 (box score)

3. The National League East-leading Braves extended their winning streak to seven games. The American League East cellar-dwelling Orioles extended their losing streak to 16 games.

The win also extended the Braves’ road winning streak to 11 games, dating to July 29. That ties the franchise’s modern-era single-season record for consecutive road wins, matching an 11-game streak by the 1956 Milwaukee Braves. (The Braves won 12 consecutive road games in 1993-94, but they did that over the course of two seasons.)

4. Jorge Soler, serving as the Braves’ designated hitter at Camden Yards, drilled a 428-foot home run to left-center in the third inning to provide the third -- and final -- run of the game.

5. Back to Fried’s performance: Snitker told pitching coach Rick Kranitz in the eighth inning, “This kid, he wants to finish this game.” And the manager was all for that.

“I was hoping that he would, honestly, just thinking this would be great for him,” Snitker said. “I had no intention of taking him out of that game. ... Watching him throw and the stuff, I was just going to let him run with it.”

Fried spread the credit around, citing the superb defense behind him. “It was definitely a team effort,” he said.

Quotable

“Fortunately, it put us in the lead 2-0, and that’s all we needed. Max (Fried) came in and shut the door and gave our bullpen a nice day off. It was a very fun day.” -- Braves catcher Travis d’Arnaud on his second-inning home run

By the numbers

9-0: Max Fried’s career record in 10 interleague starts.

Up next

The three-game series continues at Camden Yards on Saturday night, with Braves left-hander Drew Smyly (8-3 record, 4.50 ERA) scheduled to start against Orioles right-hander Matt Harvey (6-12, 6.25).

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