Max Fried’s walk-off single wins it for Braves in 10th

It looked like the Braves of recent seasons, with an even crazier late-inning twist.

The Braves mounted a massive ninth-inning comeback and won in the 10th inning on pitcher Max Fried’s single, stunning the Marlins 8-7 on Sunday at Truist Park. The Braves entered the ninth trailing 7-3.

“They’ve been playing their rears off,” manager Brian Snitker said of his team. “That’s a big deficit. We’ve been having trouble scoring runs and to be down four in the ninth and come back against that guy (Marlins closer Yimi Garcia). My God, that guy’s been really good and rough on us. And we had some really good at-bats, big hits. Guys did a great job pushing that thing into extra innings.”

How it happened: Austin Riley, Guillermo Heredia and Orlando Arcia each singled off Garcia. Abraham Almonte smacked a ball down the left-field line that drove home two. Ronald Acuna’s sacrifice fly knotted the score at 7-7.

Garcia intentionally walked Freddie Freeman and Ozzie Albies, summoning Riley back to the plate. He struck out to send the game to extra innings. Braves closer Will Smith pitched the 10th, preventing Miami’s placed runner at second from scoring.

Smith’s work set up the Braves, who were 1-6 in extra-inning games before Sunday. Two intentional walks in the bottom of the 10th had the bases loaded with one out. Kevan Smith was hitting with Fried on deck because of the team’s short bench. Anthony Bass’ wild pitch allowed Riley to charge home from third. He initially was ruled safe, ending the game as the Braves celebrated. The Marlins challenged the play, and the call was overturned. The game continued.

The Marlins intentionally walked Smith to bring up Fried. The left-hander, who’s set to start Monday, drew a 3-1 count before lacing a single into center, ending the game without debate.

“I knew as soon as we used up everybody on the bench (that I might hit),” Fried said. “Usually I’m the guy who’s around if we need a pinch-runner or something like that, and we’ve used everyone on the bench. So I have a pretty good idea that I’ll be used or maybe used, so I like to be ready.

“As soon as we put that rally together in the ninth, I really knew I’d have an opportunity, so I went into the tunnel and swung the bat a bit. I wanted to be as ready as I could.

“I love hitting. I played the outfield growing up and first base. It’s something you always dream about happening, but once I figured out I was a pitcher, I never thought this could be reality. So to have something like this happen and be put into a spot like that, I just try to make the most of it. ... I swung. I know I hit it good. My only thought was just, ‘drop.’ I wasn’t sure if it was going to hang up and (Starling) Marte would catch it. So I was just hoping it was a drop. I saw the ball fell in front of him, and it was just a wave of emotions.”

The Braves took two of three from the Marlins. It helped them avoid what would’ve been a disappointing finish to their last homestand of the first half. They went 4-2, winning series against the Mets and Marlins each for the first time this season.

“It’s a great win,” Snitker said. “Really good series win. Some good things happened this homestand. Some really good things happened. The kind of things that show more of what we’re capable of.”

Earlier in the day, former Braves outfielder Adam Duvall changed the game with one swing. The Braves were protecting a 2-1 lead entering the sixth. Starting pitcher Charlie Morton was cruising. But Miami opened the inning with consecutive singles by Marte and Jesus Aguilar, bringing up Duvall.

The slugging outfielder punished an ill-placed curveball into the seats, putting Miami ahead 4-2. Duvall has five homers and 15 RBIs across 10 games against the Braves this season. He had three hits and four RBIs Sunday.

Duvall spoiled Morton’s afternoon. The veteran allowed four runs on five hits over 5-1/3 innings, with three hits and three runs coming in his final frame.

Morton had a terrific June, but his July begins on a messy note thanks to Duvall. It ended a four-start stretch in which Morton allowed three or fewer runs. Morton has seen multiple starts undone by one inning that went awry. On Sunday, that was the sixth. Thirty-two of the 49 runs Morton has surrendered this season have come in nine individual innings.

Acuna smashed his 23rd homer in the fourth. He hammered an inside pitch from Zach Thompson into the right-field seats for a 2-0 lead. Morton had reached on a bloop hit in the previous at-bat.

Acuna always has feasted on Miami, an opponent he’s faced a career-most 54 times. He’s hit 21 homers with 51 RBIs against the Marlins. Acuna entered the game hitting .320/.422/.680 against the Braves’ South Florida rivals.

Acuna took his time celebrating the home run on his way to first base, showing a little extra oomph as he started his home-run trot. Marlins starter Pablo Lopez hit Acuna with the first pitch of the series Friday, leading to three Marlins, including Lopez and manager Don Mattingly, being ejected. There’s no love lost between Acuna and the Marlins, who have hit him with six pitches, most of any opponent.

Miami padded their lead in the ninth Sunday - which wound up preventing the Braves from winning in nine innings - with three runs via two homers off reliever Shane Greene. It snapped Greene’s four-outing scoreless streak.

The Braves finish the first half on a six-game trip beginning Monday in Pittsburgh. Fried (5-4, 4.16 ERA) opposes Pirates righty Chase De Jong (0-3, 5.65) in the series opener.