SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Austin Riley hit his 30th home run, Max Fried pitched six uneven innings to remain unbeaten since coming off the injured list earlier this month, and the Atlanta Braves kept rolling with a 7-3 win over the San Francisco Giants on Saturday.
Orlando Arcia also went deep while Matt Olson added three hits and two RBIs for the Braves, who beat the Giants for a second consecutive day to guarantee them of their first series win in San Francisco since taking three of four in 2019.
Once again Atlanta rode the combination of its powerful lineup and strong pitching to improve to a majors-best 84-44.
Seven of the Braves nine starters had at least one hit while five drove in at least one run.
Following on the heels of a dominating outing from ace Spencer Strider, Fried wasn’t as sharp, but he did enough to win his third consecutive decision overall and remain unbeaten in eight career outings against the Giants.
Fried (5-1) allowed two runs and six hits in six innings, pitching around traffic for much of the afternoon and finishing with eight strikeouts. Fried, who missed 70 games earlier this season with a strained pitching forearm before returning to the NL’s best pitching staff on Aug. 4, is 3-0 in five starts since coming back.
Kirby Yates, Pierce Johnson and A.J. Minter each retired three batters to complete the win for Atlanta.
Wilmer Flores hit his 19th home run for San Francisco. The Giants, who entered the day one game behind the Cubs for the final NL wild card spot, have lost 14 of 19.
Giants opener Ryan Walker got into trouble early after opening the game with back-to-back swinging strikeouts of Ronald Acuña Jr. and Michael Harris II. Riley walked before Olson doubled off the brick wall in right field. The ball bounced back onto the field as Riley raced around the bases and slid safely into home, beating the throw from Austin Slater.
The Braves got to reliever Sean Manaea in the third and made it 2-0 after getting two walks, Acuña’s major league-leading 59th steal and an RBI single from Olson.
The Giants tied it in the bottom of the inning when Flores hit a two-run homer off Fried to center.
Riley broke the tie with a home run off Manaea (4-5) in the fifth. Arcia homered five batters later in the fifth against Luke Jackson.
Arcia, who added a sacrifice fly in the eighth, is the eighth Braves player this season with at least 15 home runs, tying the franchise record set a year ago.
Manaea had five strikeouts but allowed three hits and two runs in 3 2/3 innings.
GIANTS JERSEYS HONOR HISTORY
For the third year in a row in honor of African American Heritage day at Oracle Park, the Giants wore jerseys of the San Francisco Sea Lions who played in the Negro Leagues.
TRAINER’S ROOM Braves: C Sean Murphy was back in the lineup after getting a day off Friday.
Neither team has named a starter for Sunday’s series finale at Oracle Park.
AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb
Michael Wagaman, The Associated Press