Max Fried had his way with a Dodgers offense that leads the majors in runs scored per game, pitching seven scoreless innings in the Braves’ 3-1 win on Tuesday night at Dodger Stadium.
Big innings have been the calling card for the Dodgers offense to start 2022, but it’s all relative. On Tuesday, a big inning against Fried meant all of one single.
The first hit was credited to Hanser Alberto, getting a rare start at third base, who singled to lead off the sixth, breaking up Fried’s perfect game. But Alberto was quickly erased on a double-play ground ball.
Trea Turner reached on an infield single with two outs in the seventh, but Fried quickly recovered to struck out Justin Turner, Fried’s eighth strikeout of the night. The left-hander from Harvard-Westlake High School pitched seven innings, didn’t walk anyone, and faced just one batter over the minimum.
With Fried out of the game, the Dodgers were able to scratch across a run off lefty Tyler Matzek in the eighth, thanks to a walk by Chris Taylor, who advanced two bases to third on a wild pitch. Contact expert Alberto scored Taylor with a 52-mph grounder to second base.
Old friend Kenley Jansen made his first appearance at Dodger Stadium as a visitor, and retired the side in short order. He got Will Smith to pop out, struck out Mookie Betts, then perhaps fittingly got Freddie Freeman to fly out to center to end the game.
It was Jansen’s 186th career save at Dodger Stadium.
Walker Buehler had a second-inning fastball crushed 426 feet into the home bullpen, off the bat of old friend Travis d’Arnaud. The solo shot gave the Braves a 1-0 lead, marking the first time the Dodgers trailed in eight games.
Buehler allowed eight hits in his five innings pitched, nearly matching his total (nine hits) in his previous two starts combined. Aside from the d’Arnaud home run, a pair of extra-base hits did the most damage off Buehler. Ozzie Albies doubled to lead off the third inning and scored, then Orlando Arcia doubled home Eddie Rosario in the fourth.
Arcia had three hits on the night, including two doubles.
Atlanta threatened to widen the advantage by putting runners at the corners in the seventh inning, but David Price rebounded with strikeouts of Albies and Matt Olson, followed by this sliding catch by Mookie Betts down the right field line.
David Price escapes a jam courtesy of this sliding Mookie catch! pic.twitter.com/k0VT3Vw65H— SportsNet LA (@SportsNetLA) April 20, 2022
At the plate though, times are tough for Betts, who was hitless for a fourth straight game, striking out twice in his four at-bats Tuesday. On the season, Betts has just seven hits in 41 at-bats, hitting .171/.277/.220.
Home runs: Travis d’Arnaud (2)
WP — Max Fried (1-2): 7 IP, 2 hits, 8 strikeouts
LP — Walker Buehler (1-1): 5 IP, 8 hits, 3 runs, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts
Sv — Kenley Jansen (3): 1 IP, 1 strikeout
It’s afternoon baseball on Wednesday at Dodger Stadium (12:10 p.m.; SportsNet LA, MLB Network), with Tony Gonsolin on the mound for the Dodgers against Atlanta right-hander Charlie Morton.