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Braves fight back from early six-run deficit to beat Diamondbacks

Marcell Ozuna Atlanta Braves Marcell Ozuna - The Canadian Press

ATLANTA (AP) — Austin Riley had three hits, the last an eighth-inning single that drove in the go-ahead run, and the Atlanta Braves overcame a six-run, first-inning deficit to beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 9-8 on Saturday night.

The Diamondbacks failed to hold a 6-0 lead after they blew a 5-2 advantage in Atlanta’s 6-5 win in 10 innings Friday night.

Arizona manager Torey Lovullo said the loss Saturday was even more crushing.

“For sure, we were in total control of the game,” Lovullo said.

Braves manager Brian Snitker said his team did not panic after the ugly first inning.

“The guys feel like they've got nine at-bats,” Snitker said. “You have to keep the game manageable so you can come back, and the guys did that. ... Credit to the bullpen again.”

Jarred Kelenic, who had three hits, led off the eighth with a double off Luis Frias (0-1) before scoring on a single to right field by Ronald Acuña Jr. to tie it at 8. Acuña moved to second on right fielder Jake McCarthy's throwing error and scored on Riley's single to give Atlanta the lead.

Ketel Marte's homer sparked the six-run first inning off Max Fried that added to a day of bad news for Atlanta's starting pitchers.

Fried gave up eight runs, seven earned, on 10 hits and one walk in 4 1/3 innings. Fried has allowed 10 earned runs in five innings in his first two starts, adding more concern to Atlanta's rotation after ace Spencer Strider was found to have damage in the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow. An MRI on Saturday revealed the damage which leaves Strider's status for the remainder of the season uncertain.

“Just being frank, I've got to do better,” Fried said, adding his 18.00 ERA is “not acceptable.”

Fried said Strider “is a big part of the team. We don't know all the details yet, but we're hoping for the best-case scenario.”

Marcell Ozuna doubled in a run in the fourth and hit a three-run homer off Brandon Pfaadt in the fifth, when the Braves trimmed Arizona's lead to 8-5.

Pfaadt gave up five runs on eight hits and one walk in 5 2/3 innings.

A.J. Minter (1-1) pitched a perfect eighth and Raisel Iglesias got the final three outs for his first save.


Diamondbacks: SS Geraldo Perdomo, who had more soreness in his right knee following agility drills before Friday night's game, was held out for the second straight game.

Braves: The Braves did not reveal the extend of the damage to the UCL in Strider's elbow. Strider will be evaluated further by Dr. Keith Meister in Arlington, Texas, at a date to be determined.


Left-hander Chris Sale (0-0, 3.38) will make his first home start since signing with Atlanta as the Braves play the final game of a weekend series against Arizona. Right-hander Ryne Nelson (0-1, 13.50) is scheduled to start for the Diamondbacks.