LOS ANGELES – The Braves needed Max Fried, and he delivered (and then some).

The hometown kid dominated the Dodgers as the Braves (6-7) won the second game of the series, 3-1.

Here are five observations:

1. In his latest homecoming, Fried twirled a gem for the Braves, who desperately needed him to be at his best. They are playing the Dodgers, who possess arguably baseball’s best lineup. Atlanta lost the series’ first game and needed its top arm, Fried, to shine on this night.

He did.

Fried pitched five perfect innings before Hanser Alberto lined a single to right field to begin the bottom of the sixth. Even with no perfecto, Fried was masterful in his hometown.

“This is the first time I’ve seen him have all five of his pitches (and) able to put them wherever he wanted,” said catcher Travis d’Arnaud, who joined the Braves in 2020.

Fried hurled seven shutout innings. He allowed only two hits and struck out eight. He threw 93 pitches.

He did this at a place that hasn’t always treated him well. In last year’s NLCS, he allowed five runs over 4 2/3 innings. In a 2019 start, he allowed four runs and only lasted an inning.

“I’ve definitely had some rough ones here, so to be able to come out and have a good start and put us in a position to win, that was my goal today,” Fried said.

All night, one of baseball’s best lineups, if not its best, had no answer for the left-hander.

“A number one, is what he is,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said. “He’s a number one with that stuff. He had everything working tonight.”

Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Max Fried throws to the plate during the first inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers Tuesday, April 19, 2022, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

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2. The Braves never exploded offensively in this game, but that isn’t a fair expectation for a club facing an ace like Walker Buehler.

Instead, the Braves continued grinding away against the hard-throwing righty.

“They did (grind), because he was throwing a lot of stuff,” Snitker said. “They weren’t seeing a lot of the same pitch twice, that’s for sure. He was mixing pretty good, and we had some good at-bats off of him. We did. We grinded some at-bats, which I’ve seen these guys do before.”

Over five innings, they collected eight hits and three runs against Buehler. They drew a walk and, perhaps most important, only struck out twice. Buehler can take over games, but the Braves’ offense once again proved its worth in some tough at-bats.

In the second inning, d’Arnaud crushed a ball 426 feet for a solo home run. Two innings later, Orlando Arcia laced a run-scoring double with two outs. And an inning after that, Austin Riley hit a 76-mph single to right field that scored another run.

The Braves never poured on, but they worked Buehler. They continued putting together tough at-bats against one of the game’s best arms.

Atlanta Braves' Travis d'Arnaud, center, heads toward first after hitting a solo home run as Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Walker Buehler, left, and catcher Austin Barnes watch during the second inning of a baseball game Tuesday, April 19, 2022, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

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3. As Kenley Jansen jogged out of the visitors’ bullpen at Dodger Stadium, a ballpark he called home for over a decade, fans greeted him with a mix of cheers and boos.

Protecting a two-run lead on a familiar mound, Jansen pitched a perfect ninth to earn the save in his first appearance here since signing with Atlanta.

Jansen got Will Smith to fly out to right field before striking out Mookie Betts. Freddie Freeman flew out to center field for the final out.

“Honestly, it was fun,” Jansen said. “Emotional, a little bit. Just try to control it when you’re on the mound. …I’ve been doing this for a while here in Dodger Stadium. I control it and I got three outs. It felt good.”

The Dodgers’ only run came on an eighth-inning groundout against Tyler Matzek. The more important part is the play that set up the run.

With Chris Taylor on first base after a one-out walk, Matzek threw a wild pitch. D’Arnaud couldn’t find it, which allowed Taylor to go from first to third. This enabled him to score on a ball in the infield.

Atlanta Braves relief pitcher Kenley Jansen throws to the plate during the ninth inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers Tuesday, April 19, 2022, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

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4. D’Arnaud’s homer continued a wild streak for the Braves.

With his solo shot, Braves’ last 15 home runs have been solo homers. These Braves had been tied with the 1963 Milwaukee Braves in this category before d’Arnaud went yard.

Riley’s two-run home run on opening day is the last Braves homer that was not a solo shot.

5. Eddie Rosario entered this series lost at the plate. He had only one hit.

So this is an encouraging sign: Rosario has collected a hit in both games of this series. He doubled on Monday, then singled on Tuesday.

Maybe Rosario simply needed to see the Dodgers again. He won NLCS MVP for his performance against them in last year’s postseason.

Rosario hasn’t yet looked anything like himself to begin this season, but the last two games have provided some hope that he could soon break out of this massive slump.

Stat to know

15 - Fried retired the first 15 Dodgers he faced before Alberto led off the bottom of the sixth inning with a hit.

Up next

Braves right-hander Charlie Morton will face Dodgers right-hander Tony Gonsolin in Wednesday’s series finale, which begins at 3:10 p.m. ET.