WASHINGTON (AP) — The Atlanta Braves overcame the early exit of NL Cy Young Award runner-up Max Fried because of a bad leg Thursday with four hits by Travis d'Arnaud and three errors by Washington shortstop CJ Abrams during a 7-2 victory over the Nationals on a sunny, chilly opening day.
The temperature was 45 degrees at first pitch, players from both teams lost balls in the bright daylight, and there were a total of five errors.
Designated hitter d'Arnaud capped his afternoon with a two-run double in the ninth and Austin Riley walked three times — once with the bases loaded — for Atlanta, which is coming off five NL East titles in a row. Washington finished last in the division each of the past three years.
Fried allowed one run before departing with a strained left hamstring after wincing as he ran to cover first base for the initial out of the fourth inning. Manager Brian Snitker said Fried will miss a start and probably head to the 10-day injured list.
“I'm going to make sure that I'm doing everything I can (so) when I do take that mound again, I'm ready to go,” said Fried, who finished second to Miami's Sandy Alcantara in Cy Young voting last year.
Lucas Luetge (1-0), one of five Braves relievers, was credited with the win.
Washington lefty Patrick Corbin (0-1) picked up right where he left off the past two seasons, lasting just one batter into the fourth inning and departing with a 6.00 ERA after giving up four runs, two earned. No pitcher in the big leagues had more losses in 2022 than his 19 or in 2021 than his 16.
The Braves batted around against Corbin in the second to lead 3-0 with the help of a bases-loaded walk. All but two of Atlanta's 12 hits Thursday were singles.
There was one automatic ball called for a pitch-clock violation by Braves reliever Collin McHugh in the eighth, leading to what amounted to a three-pitch walk to Jeimer Candelario — the only obvious effect of the various new rules implemented in the majors this season. All of the bullpen use resulted in a game that lasted 3 hours, 7 minutes.
“That’s not going to be the last time that happens,” Snitker said about the call on McHugh.
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