Max Fried had a strong return as the Braves thrash the Cubs

In his first start in nearly three months, Max Fried pitched six scoreless innings to help the Atlanta Braves defeat the Chicago Cubs 8-0 in the first game of their three-game series on Friday.

Fried (3-1) didn’t walk a batter, gave up just three hits, and had eight strikeouts. The left-hander, 29, who was an NL All-Star the previous year, hasn’t pitched since May 5 due to a strained left forearm.

For the Braves, who have won six straight games, Sean Murphy, Marcell Ozuna, and Austin Riley all hit home runs, and Ronald Acuna Jr. contributed three singles.







In four innings of work, Cubs starter Kyle Hendricks (4-6) gave up eight hits and seven runs, all of which came in the fourth inning. He did not walk a batter and he struck out three.

For Chicago, which had won 11 of its previous 13 games, Cody Bellinger collected two of the four hits.

Before the Atlanta offense erupted for six extra-base hits in the fourth inning, Hendricks retired the first nine hitters.

On the first pitch, Acuna singled up the middle before Ozzie Albies doubled off Bellinger in center field with a 2-2 changeup.

Acuna was scored by Riley’s infield grounder to second, giving the team a 1-0 lead. Matt Olson doubled down the left-field line to make it 2-0 as the Cubs moved the infield in to the plate.

On the following pitch, Murphy hit a two-run home run to left to make it 4-0. To make it 5-0, Ozuna added another home run.

Orlando Arcia doubled down the left-field line with two outs and scored on a looping single to left by Michael Harris II to give Atlanta a 6-0 lead. Atlanta didn’t stop there.

Acuna then tripled into the corner of the right field to make it 7-0.

Before Bellinger singled up the middle to lead off the fifth, Fried had retired the first 12 Cubs in a row. However, he was promptly stranded on a double play.

In the seventh inning, Riley smashed his 26th home run of the year to make it 8-0.