ATLANTA – Max Fried never thought he would have the chance to win a winning game. After all, Fried is a pitcher.
Thanks to the exhausted Atlanta bench, it happened on Sunday.
The pinch-stroke pitcher fielded a base-loaded single in the middle in the 10th inning, and the Braves rallied for a wild 8-7 victory over the Miami Marlins.
“It’s something you always dream of, but when I knew I was going to be a pitcher, I thought it would never be reality,” Fried said.
Fried is not a normal pitcher. He’s hitting .300 this season. He had 11 hits, including four doubles, as he led by four points in 2019, when he hit 0.196.
“If Max didn’t pitch, he would be an outfielder in the big leagues,” said Braves manager Brian Snitker.
Fried was called in to strike with the Braves out of position after a four-point rally in the ninth. He scored on a 3-1 pitch against Anthony Bass (1-4), leading Dansby Swanson from third base and pulling his jubilant teammates out of the dugout.
“It was probably as good as what I felt on the pitch finishing a game,” said Fried.
Fried’s late-game swing came as a big surprise to Marlins manager Don Mattingly, who surmised the pitcher was hoping for a walk.
“I was really surprised he swung the bat there, but he’s actually a pretty good hitter,” Mattingly said.
With goals loaded and an out in the 10th, Austin Riley was sent off at plate when he attempted to score on a wild pitch loaded with bases by Bass. Riley was first declared safe before the referees canceled the appeal during an exam.
The Braves quickly recovered from this disappointment. Bass loaded the groundwork with an intentional march to Kevan Smith before dropping Fried’s single.
Miami opened a 7-3 lead with three points in the ninth. Sandy Leon started off with a drive to the right for his second home run. Starling Marte scored with two strikeouts and scored on Jesus Aguilar’s home run against Shane Greene.
But Marlins’ closest Yimi Garcia struggled in the lower half and the Braves rallied.
Orlando Arcia scored a single in Swanson and Abraham Almonte made it 7-6 with a two-run brace. Ronald Acuna Jr. then delivered an endearing sacrifice fly.
Garcia was charged with four runs and four hits. He walked three, two intentionally.
“Sometimes you have days where you make good throws and they also make good contact,” Garcia said through a performer.
Will Smith (3-5) threw the 10th for the win. Acuna also hit a two-run homerun against Zach Thompson in the third.
PIRATES 2, BREWERS 0 Tyler Anderson allowed just three hits in seven innings, and Pittsburgh ended Milwaukee’s 11-game winning streak.
ROCKIES 3, CARDINALS 2 Elias Diaz hit a single RBI for Colorado with two strikeouts in the ninth inning, and German Marquez struck out 11 as the Rockies beat St. Louis.
DODGERS 5, NATIONAL 1 Albert Pujols hit a single green light as a seventh inning pinch hitter, and Los Angeles completed a seven-game season sweep against Washington.
PADRES 11, PHILLIES 1 Manny Machado produced five runs with a pair of home runs, leading San Diego to a victory over Philadelphia.
REDS 3, CUBS 2 Amir Garrett escaped a jam in the ninth inning and Cincinnati handed Chicago their ninth straight loss.
RED SOX 1, ATHLETICS 0 Nick Pivetta struck out 10 catches in seven innings, and Boston took the lead on a Rafael Devers double play in the sixth in a win over Oakland.
MARINERS 4, RANGERS 1 Chris Flexen pitched six effective innings for the Mariners, and Luis Torrens has scored for the seventh time in his last 13 games as Seattle beat Texas.
RAYS 5, BLUE JAYS 1 Austin Meadows had three hits, including two double streaks, and Tampa Bay beat Toronto to end their 10-game losing streak on the road.
ASTROS 4, INDIANS 3 (10) Yuli Gurriel scored on a two-strikeout error by pitcher Emmanuel Clase in the 10th inning, helping Houston complete a four-game streak against Cleveland.
TIGERS 6, WHITE SOX 5 Jeimer Candelario had three hits, Akil Baddoo produced two runs and Detroit held on to defeat Chicago.
TWINS 6, ROYALS 2 Kenta Maeda had a season-best 10 in six scoreless innings, and Minnesota ended a five-game losing streak by beating Kansas City.
METS 10-2, YANKEES 5-4 Gio Urshela hit a three-run homerun and the New York Yankees saved a small face by beating the Mets on Sunday night to avoid a Subway series sweep. In Game 1 of the split doubles program, Pete Alonso hit an equalizer home run against Yankees closest Aroldis Chapman to lead the seventh inning and Jose Peraza got a two-run double that included interference from ‘a fan visiting the Bronx. Alonso also logged in late in the game, becoming the first Mets player since Shawn Green on September 6, 2006, to hit a homerun at both ends of a doubles program.
Atlanta Braves’ Max Fried, center, is mobbed after taking the winning stroke against the Miami Marlins in the 10th inning of a baseball game Sunday, July 4, 2021, in Atlanta. (AP Photo / Ben Margot)
The Atlanta Braves’ Austin Riley (27) slips into home plate as Anthony Bass of the Miami Marlins hits a tag in the 10th inning of a baseball game on Sunday, July 4, 2021 in Atlanta. After a review of the game, the field decision was overturned and Riley was called. (AP Photo / Ben Margot)
Miami Marlins ‘Adam Duvall, right, celebrates after hitting a three-run homerun against Atlanta Braves’ Charlie Morton in the sixth inning of a baseball game on Sunday, July 4, 2021 in Atlanta. (AP Photo / Ben Margot)
Miami Marlins Adam Duvall watches his three-runner home run hit Charlie Morton of the Atlanta Braves in the sixth inning of a baseball game on Sunday, July 4, 2021 in Atlanta. (AP Photo / Ben Margot)
Atlanta Braves pitcher Charlie Morton, right, hands the ball to manager Brian Snitker (43) during the sixth inning of a baseball game against the Miami Marlins on Sunday, July 4, 2021, in Atlanta. (AP Photo / Ben Margot)
Miami Marlins pitcher Zach Thompson faces the Atlanta Braves in the first inning of a baseball game on Sunday, July 4, 2021 in Atlanta. (AP Photo / Ben Margot)
Jets fly through smoke from fireworks ahead of a baseball game between the Atlanta Braves and the Miami Marlins on Sunday, July 4, 2021 in Atlanta. (AP Photo / Ben Margot)
Men dressed as Revolutionary War soldiers fire a volley before the National Anthem ahead of the Atlanta Braves-Miami Marlins baseball game on Sunday, July 4, 2021, in Atlanta. (AP Photo / Ben Margot)
Atlanta Braves’ Max Fried (54) rounds off the opening goal after hitting the Miami Marlins as Guillermo Heredia, left, storms the pitch in the 10th inning of a Sunday, July 4 baseball game 2021, in Atlanta. (AP Photo / Ben Margot)