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.
The Braves’ 243 home runs are the most by one team through 128 games in majors history.
“You’re waiting to see who kind of goes off (each) night, and anybody can,” Riley said of Atlanta’s powerful offense. “Those days where you don’t have your best stuff, guys are right there behind you picking you up.”
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.
With that type of offense, Fried was able to relax and be more focused on the mound.
“It makes it so I don’t have to feel like I have to be perfect and go out and throw up zeroes every time,” Fried said. “Obviously I want to go out there and keep runs off the board but if I have a slip-up like today, as long as I keep my head down and just keep trying to put up some zeroes, they’re going to explode at any time.”
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. He remains 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.
“It wasn’t real easy, he had to fight through some adversity,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said. “He’s getting there. It’s just going to take some time to get going but he made some really big pitches when he had to. He’s one of the top guys in the game. He’s just going to continue to get better.”
Kirby Yates, Pierce Johnson and A.J. Minter each retired three batters to complete the win for Atlanta.
Wilmer Flores hit his career-high tying 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. It’s the third consecutive season with 30 or more homers for the Braves’ slugger.
“I thought yesterday I was all over balls, just couldn’t find anything to account for,” Riley said. “To see one finally find some open ground was nice.”
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.
“That lower third has been really good for us all year, him being one of them,” Snitker said. “He’s been scuffling a little bit lately and it was good to see him get that.”
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.
Braves LHP Jared Shuster (4-2, 5.00 ERA) will start Sunday’s series finale, his first start since being called up from the minors last week. The Giants will counter with rookie RHP Tristan Beck (3-2, 3.34) who will be making his first career start.
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