The Atlanta Braves went into Friday’s contest against the Orioles having won nine out of their last ten and six straight overall. Max Fried helped make it seven with his incredible complete-game shutout performance. The 27-year-old left-hander had never completed more than seven innings until going the distance on Friday. Not only did he complete the shutout, but he did so on just 90 pitches, completing a Maddux — a shutout tossed in under 100 pitches. The last Brave to toss a Maddux with 90 pitches or less was, well, Greg Maddux back on September 13, 2000. Shelby Miller last completed the feat for Atlanta in 2015 with a 94-pitch outing.
Fried allowed just four hits on the day against Baltimore but induced two double-play ground balls. He tossed 66-of-90 pitches for strikes, not walking anyone and throwing just 24 balls outside the zone over the nine innings. Three of the batters Fried faced resulted in one-pitch outs. And credit to the defense around him as Fried generated 12 groundouts. The longest inning of the game was an 18-pitch fifth inning. Friday’s victory was his 11th win of the season, and he now carries a 3.49 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, and 117 strikeouts across 118 2/3 innings. The victory in Baltimore marked the 11th consecutive road win for Atlanta, tying a franchise record. They’ll look to break it on Saturday when Drew Smyly takes the mound against Matt Harvey and the Orioles.
Starting Pitchers with an EDGE
Walker Buehler — 7 2/3 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 0 BB, 8 K vs. Mets
Buehler continued to make his case for the CY Young with another excellent start on Friday against the Mets. He tossed 73-of-107 pitches for strikes and induced 17 whiffs to strike out eight batters. The only two runs against him came on a solo homer and RBI single by Pete Alonso. The 27-year-old right-hander has an incredible 2.11 ERA, 0.93 WHIP, and 170 strikeouts over 162 1/3 innings. He’ll take on the Padres in San Diego next week.
Sonny Gray — 7 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 5 K vs. Marlins
Now, this is the Sonny Gray we’ve been waiting to see. He was lights out on Friday, tossing seven shutout innings with just one hit allowed against the Marlins. Jazz Chisholm was the only Marlin to hit safely off of Gray with a single in the fourth inning. The 31-year-old right-hander was efficient in this one, throwing 60-of-87 pitches for strikes while generating 15 whiffs to strike out five batters. He’ll take a 4.15 ERA over 97 2/3 innings into his next start against the Brewers in Milwaukee.
Hitters with an EDGE
Salvador Perez — 2-for-3, 2 HR vs. Cubs
Perez added to his career-high home run total two homers on Friday against the Cubs. He put the Royals on the board with a leadoff blast off Zach Davies in the fourth inning. Perez took Davies deep once again for a solo shot in the sixth. The 31-year-old backstop has set himself apart from the pack with a .276/.310/.524 slash line, 32 homers, and 80 RBI across 491 plate appearances.
Luke Voit — 4-for-5, HR, 2B, 2 R, 4 RBI vs. Twins
Voit saw his season batting average jump from .242 to .260 with the four-hit day against the Twins. The 30-year-old first baseman made his case for playing time earlier this week, citing his 2020 season that garnered MVP consideration. On Friday, he let his bat do the talking. Voit knocked a two-run base hit to put the Yankees on the board in the first inning. He drove in another run in the fourth with a double before blasting his seventh home run of the season to lead off the seventh inning.
Nestor Cortes – SP, New York Yankees (Available in 71 percent of Yahoo leagues)
It might be time to pick up Nestor Cortes. The 26-year-old southpaw put together another strong performance on Friday, holding the Twins to two runs over seven innings with seven strikeouts. Cortes now carries a 2.56 ERA, 1.07 WHIP, and 60 strikeouts over 56 1/3 innings — 2.70 over 36 2/3 as a starter. He began the season in the bullpen and joined the rotation out of necessity. His recent performance might just keep him there.
Kenley Jansen vs. Mets
1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K (26th save)
Jansen took the mound in ninth with a one-run lead to close it out against the Mets. He got Patrick Mazeika to strike out swinging for the third out, securing the win for the Dodgers. Jansen is up to 26 saves on the year with a 2.92 ERA over 49 1/3 innings.
Ian Kennedy vs. Padres
1 1/3 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K (20th save)
Kennedy was tasked with entering the game with the bases loaded and two outs to face Fernando Tatis Jr. in the eighth inning. He hit Tatis to bring home a run and cut the Phillies’ lead to one run before striking out Manny Machado. Kennedy tossed a clean ninth to pick up his 20th save.
Kyle Finnegan vs. Brewers
1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K (5th save)
Finnegan was summoned in the ninth with a three-run lead against the Brewers. He worked around a leadoff walk to Jace Peterson, striking out one on his way to his fifth save of the season. The 29-year-old right-hander has a 2.90 ERA over 49 2/3 innings.
Mychal Givens vs. Marlins
1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K (4th save)
Givens gave up a double with one out to Lewis Brinson but held on to secure the win for Cincinnati. The 31-year-old right-hander appears to have taken over as the primary closer for the Reds with a 2.08 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, and 44 strikeouts over 39 innings.
Ryan Tepera vs. Rays
1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K (2nd save)
Tepera shut the door on the Rays as the White Sox outlasted the Rays in 11 innings. After Chicago took a two-run lead in the top of the frame, Tepera closed things out with two strikeouts on 18 pitches. It was just the second save for Tepera on the year. Liam Hendriks pitched the tenth inning and was credited with the win.
Lou Trivino vs. Giants
1 IP, 1 H, 0 BB, 0 K (21st save)
Trivino needed just ten pitches to shut down the Giants in the ninth inning and pick up his 21st save of the season. The 29-year-old right-hander has been lights out for the A’s, posting a 1.72 ERA over 57 2/3 innings while going 21-for-23 in save chances.
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Matchup of the Day
The Phillies and Padres will face off for game two of a three-game set in San Diego. Both teams are fighting for a playoff spot after recent losing streaks. The Phillies have fallen four games back of the Braves in the NL East, and the Padres are tied with the Reds for the second Wild Card spot. If these teams are to turn it around and make a run, the two pitchers taking the mound on Saturday will play a big part in that. Both Nola and Musgrove are coming off bad starts. They’re surely capable of putting together excellent stretches over the final month, starting with Saturday’s contest.
American League Quick Hits: Alex Bregman resumed his rehab assignment for Triple-A Sugar Land on Friday… Miguel Sano was placed on the paternity list… Jose Urquidy struck out six and allowed one hit in his first rehab start at the Florida Complex League… Luis Gil will likely be recalled to start Sunday for the Yankees against the Twins… Chris Archer will start for the Rays on Sunday against the White Sox… The Rangers placed Joe Barlow on the 10-day injured list with a blister on his right index finger… The A’s activated Chad Pinder from the 10-day injured list… Seth Brown was optioned to Triple-A… The Rays placed Jordan Luplow on the 10-day injured list… The Twins released Keon Broxton… The Rangers promoted Josh Jung to Triple-A Round Rock… The Twins recalled Edgar Garcia from Triple-A… Charlie Culberson was placed on the COVID-19 injured list… Casey Sadler was placed on the paternity list…
National League Quick Hits: Yu Darvish threw a bullpen session on Friday… The Mets plan to move Jeff McNeil to third base once Francisco Lindor and Javier Baez return… Rhys Hoskins could return from the injured list on Saturday… Trevor Rogers will need at least one rehab start before rejoining the rotation… Pablo Lopez will begin a minor league rehab assignment on Saturday… Anthony DeSclafani received a cortisone shot in his injured ankle and is day-to-day… Tejay Antone will pitch an additional minor league rehab game on Sunday… The Braves signed Travis d’Arnaud to a two-year, $16 million contract extension… Nico Hoerner hopes to begin a rehab assignment early next week… Adbert Alzolay threw a bullpen session on Friday… Austin Gomber was activated from the paternity list… Jake Arrieta was placed on the 10-day injured list… The Cardinals placed Ryan Helsley on the 10-day injured list… The Padres activated Jurickson Profar from the COVID-19 injured list… The Marlins sent Deven Marrero outright to Triple-A… The Pirates activated Chad Kuhl from the COVID-19 injured list… The Marlins optioned Nick Neidert to Triple-A…