DENVER — Max Fried threw eight scoreless innings, Matt Olson hit a two-run single in the 10th and the Atlanta Braves beat the Colorado Rockies 3-1 on Friday night to become the last major league team to do so in this one Season won three games in a row.
In just the second game in Coors Field’s history to be scoreless after nine innings, Carlos Estevez (1-2) walked and hit a batter to load bases in the 10th. His wild pitch allowed automatic runner Adam Duvall to score.
Olson then hit a liner to Lucas Gilbreath left field and made a winner from AJ Minter (1-0), who edited ninth place. Kenley Jansen dropped an RBI single to Yonathan Daza before making his 13th save for the vacillating Braves, who moved within .500 of a game.
Fried used a mix of pitches that unbalanced the Rockies. He only allowed two hits and didn’t walk a batter until one went out in the eighth shot.
“Everything was just nails. I mean slider, change, curve, his fastball. I saw him go a couple of innings like he was draining the tank,” said Braves manager Brian Snitker. “You expect to win the game when he serves.”
The left-hander laid down his first nine batters. Connor Joe led in fourth place with a floor single on opposite field to extend his streak on base to 30 games. Fried bypassed Randal Grichuk’s leadoff double in the sixth and helped end Brendan Rodgers’ 20-game-hitting streak.
Fried, who had a major league high in 2021 with two shutouts and was the winning pitcher in the World Series win in Atlanta, threw 102 pitches and batted four.
“I felt like a little bit of everything worked,” he said.
The loss spoiled a remarkable nine-inning turn for Colorado’s struggling pitching as Chad Kuhl and three assists worked together to keep the defending World Series champion off the scoreboard.
The Rockies came on after conceding 39 runs and 51 hits in three games over two days. When manager Bud Black was confronted with pre-game questions about his coaching staff, Colorado threatened to become the first team since the 1928 Phillies to concede 12 or more runs in four straight games.
Kuhl got off to a rough start, walking two and allowing two singles in the first. But the Braves didn’t score because second baseman Rodgers kicked Ronald Acuna Jr. out on first and third steal attempts at home.
From then on, Kuhl settled down. He was on 60 pitches in three innings but only needed 28 to get through six. Dansby Swanson had three of the five hits allowed by Kuhl, who has given up just three heats in his last three starts.
“Fastball command was key. I felt like I was attacking and getting a hit a lot,” said Kuhl. “If you throw a lot of pitches through an inning or two, remember to get through five. But I survived six.”
Alex Colome, Tyler Kinley and Daniel Bard each scored an innings shutout, making it the first scoreless game since September 14, 2008, going down to the 10th in Denver when the Rockies defeated the Dodgers in a Hall of Famer Greg Maddux started game defeated for Los Angeles.
“Being able to pitch here is a challenge,” said Fried. “I just wanted to be myself, set up my game, move the ball and change tempo.”
Braves: Acuna, still at full strength after right ACL surgery, started on the right. He didn’t play on Wednesday and was the DH on Thursday.
Rockies: Daza (Elbow) was in the lineup after not starting in the last two games. … Black confirmed that two prospects, 3B Colton Welker and LHP Ryan Rolison, will need season-ending shoulder surgery.
ALBIES is SITTING
Brave’s 2B Ozzie Albies didn’t start on what Snitker said was simply a day off. Albie’s later pinch hit and has played in all 53 games this season.
Black said the team is not considering replacing pitching coach Darryl Scott, despite kicking off a 5.34 team ERA on Friday, the second-worst in the majors.
“He’s a good coach,” Black said.
Duvall was the third Braves player to have a payroll arbitration hearing during the season, an oddity caused by the lockout. Duvall, who went 0 for 4, is asking $10,275,000 this season. The Braves countered with $9,275,000.
Relief pitcher Luke Jackson and 3B Austin Riley have lost their cases. Fried’s case will be heard later this month.
“All of our guys handled it like the pros they are,” Snitker said.
Daza dropped a flyball to center in the sixth, giving the Rockies a major-league-high 43 errors.
The Rockies debut their green City Connect alternate jerseys patterned after the Colorado license plate Saturday night when LHP Kyle Freeland (1-5, 4.96 ERA) vs. Braves RHP Spencer Strider (1-2, 3.45) starts.