Braves Secure Fifth Consecutive Win with 6-3 Triumph Over Dodgers; Acuña and Fried Excel

by Gabriel Martinez
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Ronald Acuña Jr., recently married and in peak form, hit his 31st home run of the season and stole his 63rd base, while Max Fried dominated with seven scoreless innings. The Atlanta Braves emerged victorious over the Los Angeles Dodgers with a 6-3 scoreline on Friday evening, marking their fifth consecutive win.

With this victory, the Braves (89-45) extend their lead over the Dodgers (83-51) by six games, securing their standing for the best record in Major League Baseball and a potential home-field edge throughout the postseason. In a 14-hit offensive display, Atlanta contributed to the Dodgers’ second loss in a row, a rarity since late July.

Just a day after tying the knot, Acuña delivered another stellar performance, becoming the inaugural player in MLB history to achieve 30 home runs and 60 stolen bases in a single season. His home run came in the third inning against Dodgers’ pitcher Julio Urías (11-8), a 418-foot shot that cleared the center-field fence. In the fifth inning, Acuña’s lead-off double and subsequent stolen base led to a run on Austin Riley’s RBI double.

For the second consecutive match, Acuña outperformed his National League MVP contender, Mookie Betts, who had a hitless night and was substituted in the eighth inning. Max Fried had an imposing start, striking out six of the initial eight batters he faced. The Dodgers struggled offensively, recording their first hit only in the third inning and failing to advance a runner to second base until the seventh.

Fried’s performance (6-1) was punctuated by allowing only three hits, including singles from Freddie Freeman and Amed Rosario. He recorded a season-high 10 strikeouts and issued two walks. This game marked Fried’s fourth instance of achieving double-digit strikeouts, a feat he last accomplished on August 30, 2019, against the Chicago White Sox.

The Braves’ closer, Kirby Yates, sealed the win in the ninth inning, notching his third save of the season. Additional offensive support came from Travis d’Arnaud and Marcell Ozuna, who each hit home runs. Ozuna also contributed an RBI single and doubled in the eighth, scoring on a single by Eddie Rosario for a 6-0 lead.

A late rally by the Dodgers came in the form of a three-run, pinch-hit home run from Kolten Wong, reducing their deficit to 6-3. However, their efforts were not enough to turn the tide, as Michael Tonkin struck out Chris Taylor, extinguishing the Dodgers’ hopes for a comeback.

Julio Urías, the Dodgers’ starting pitcher, had a challenging evening, allowing five runs and nine hits in a five-inning stint, further registering four strikeouts and two walks. In a notable defensive play, Dodgers catcher Will Smith thwarted Eddie Rosario’s attempt to steal home with a one-handed tag, following a bounced throw from Urías.

Trainer’s Update

Braves: Sean Murphy, the All-Star catcher, was rested for the night.

Dodgers: Designated Hitter J.D. Martinez is slated for a couple of rehab games with Triple-A Oklahoma City starting on Sunday, with plans to rejoin the Dodgers in Washington the following week. Right-handed pitcher Joe Kelly, recovering from a forearm issue, successfully completed a 20-pitch bullpen session.

Next in Line

Scheduled to start for the Braves in Saturday’s match is Bryce Elder (11-4, 3.50 ERA). The Dodgers have yet to announce their starter but may utilize Emmet Sheehan (3-1, 5.63 ERA) for extended innings, as he recently returned for his second stint with the team.

Source: AP MLB: Link to original article

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