Braves’ Fried leads lopsided win over Rays

by Gary Shelton on July 18, 2021

in general

Cash saw his team bested by Atlanta./TIM WIRT

Sunday, 4 a.m.

To put it gently, they were clobbered.

They were crushed. Embarrassed. Annihilated.

Face it, they were Fried.

The Tampa Bay Rays had no earthly idea what to do with Atlanta pitcher Max Fried in Saturday night's 9-0 defeat. Fried dominated the Rays from the mound -- seven innings, four hits, no runs -- and from the plate -- three-for-three, two RBI, two runs scored -- in a complete effort.

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Fried, who has had a pedestrian season (6-5 with a 4.71 era) coming into the game, was the best player on the field.

The Rays? They were barely noticeable.

They had just four hits. They struck out eight times. They had only one player get into scoring position -- and they stranded him.

The Braves scored six times in the third inning -- Fried had a two-run double -- off starter Josh Fleming.

"I think some good hitters made some adjustments on him," said Rays' manager Kevin Cash. "He looked good, crisp (the first three innings). They just pieced together a really good inning. That is tough to come back from."

Fleming said his problems started with his sinker.

“I was inconsistent with my sinker," Fleming said. "I left too many over the plate. Left one over the plate for Fried to hit the double. I don’t know what it was. Every other pitch, I felt good throwing.

"It's possible to throw too many strikes. The last three starts, I think I’ve thrown too many strikes instead of trying to pitch to corners when I get two strikes. I’ve been hurt a lot grooving fastballs. I have to get better at locating a little more."

The Rays try to take the series today at 1:20 at Truist Park in Atlanta. Rich Hill will start for the Rays against Drew Smyly.


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