Home runs doom Patrick Corbin in Nationals’ loss to Braves
ATLANTA – Ozzie Albies and Adam Duvall each hit a two-run homer off Patrick Corbin, Max Fried pitched six strong innings and the Atlanta Braves beat the Washington Nationals 5-4 on Sunday.
Albies had 3 in his last 26 when he went deep for the 18th time to make it 2-1 in the third inning.
Corbin has allowed 27 home runs, most in the National League, and is 0-4 with a 7.22 ERA in his last five starts. The southpaw has lost his last five starts against Atlanta.
The Braves, three-time defending East Division champions, winners five of six, trailed two games behind Philadelphia in second place. They won a second consecutive series for the first time from June 29 to July 4 against the New York Mets and the Miami Marlins.
Atlanta coach Brian Snitker was pleased with how his team escaped a 3-2 loss the night before.
“Those tough losses happen,” Snitker said. “They’re part of it, but still when you go to bed and suddenly you’re back here, it’s good to see how they recovered.”
Fried was 1-1 with an 8.44 ERA in three starts against the Nationals this season. Fried (9-7) left the runners stranded at first and third to finish sixth. He allowed seven hits and one run with a walk and five strikeouts.
“Most of the time it’s slowing down everything, concentrating on my breathing, the only thing I can control is doing this pitch here and there,” Fried said. “Don’t try to do too much on a pitch and trust the defense.”
Atlanta made it 5-1 in the sixth when Albies walked and scored on Austin Riley’s double and Duvall hit his 24th home run.
Chris Martin faced five batters in the ninth for the Braves, winning a shaky first save three times. Ryan Zimmerman doubled on a run to make it 5-4 off Martin.
Corbin (6-11) allowed five hits and five runs with one walk and five strikeouts in six innings. He couldn’t really explain why so many of his pitches have left the yard this season.
“I was trying to get a zero, but that’s the way it went,” Corbin said. “I don’t know an answer to that… I feel good and that’s really all I can say. The results have not really been there. He was not fatigued at all. They just scored there. “
Washington led 1-0 in the third. Luis Garcia singled, walked and bunted, and scored on a single by Alcides Escobar. RBI singles by Victor Robles and Zimmerman cut the lead to 5-3 against Jesse Chavez in the seventh.
Fried struck out Josh Bell to strand a runner at second base at first. Yadiel Hernandez singled in the second and was eliminated with a double play groundout.
The Nationals have lost six of seven. They fell nine games behind the Phillies.
Nationals RF Juan Soto, with a bruised right knee, stayed out of the lineup for the third straight game before striking out as a pinch hitter in the eighth. He walked as a pinch hitter on Saturday, but told manager Dave Martinez he felt “a little dodgy” running the bases. Martinez hopes Soto can return to the lineup on Tuesday.
Braves 1B Freddie Freeman was not in the lineup after leaving Saturday’s game with an upper respiratory infection, but entered as a defensive replacement in the seventh. Freeman had started 110 of Atlanta’s 111 games. Since his first full season in 2011, Freeman has made 1,471 starts, the second-most in the majors behind Kansas City’s Carlos Santana.
Bell started in right field for the first time since 2016 with Pittsburgh. Martinez wanted him and 1B Zimmerman to be in the same lineup for the first time this season. Bell pitched two singles but didn’t have a fly ball in his way. He and Zimmerman combined to play 4-for-10.
UNTIL NEXT TIME
Nationals: After a day off Monday, RHP Paolo Espino (3-3, 3.66 ERA) will face RHP Carlos Carrasco (0-0, 3.24) when Washington opens a three-game series against the Mets of New York.
Braves: After a day off Monday, LHP Drew Smyly (7-3, 4.50) will face RHP Sonny Gray (4-6, 4.44) when Atlanta opens a three-game series at home against Cincinnati.
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