MILWAUKEE (AP) — Freddie Freeman hit his 25th home run of the season, Max Fried pitched five scoreless innings and the Atlanta Braves’ relievers hung on for a 4-2 victory against the Milwaukee Brewers on Monday night.
The win marked the fifth straight for the first-place Braves who are now a season-best 21 games over .500.
Fried (10-4) pitched gave up three hits and struck out five in just 78 pitches. The left-hander is now 2-0 with 11 shutout innings pitched against Milwaukee this year. Luke Jacksno pitched the ninth for his 17th save of the season.
After three innings of quiet baseball, Freeman put Atlanta on the board first in the fourth with a three-run homer to center field. The blast scored Ronald Acuña Jr. and Darby Swanson who each reached on a base hit.
The Braves improve to a major-league best 40-17 since manager Brian Snitker moved Acuña Jr. to the top of the order on May 10.
Right-hander Adrian Houser (2-4) fell to 0-4 as a starter this season after allowing four earned runs on eight hits in six innings.
Milwaukee, which stranded seven baserunners, has now dropped five of their last six and eight of their last 10 games.
Ryan Braun hit his 13th home run of the season in the sixth and Keston Hiura brought home the Brewers’ other run on a deep drive to center that fell just beyond the outstretched glove of Acuña Jr. The RBI triple pulled Milwaukee to within 3-2.
Austin Riley singled on a fly ball off Braun’s glove in the seventh. The base hit scored Ozzie Albies.
Christian Yelich had two hits on the night and added a stolen base, his 22nd of the season.
Brewers left-hander Gio Gonzalez pitched 4 2/3 innings, allowed one run on five hits and struck out four in a rehab start Monday for the Triple-A San Antonio Missions. Gonzalez also surrendered a home run in the start against Nashville. Gonzalez threw 68 pitches, 44 for strikes. The two-time All-Star hasn’t pitched for the Brewers since being placed on injured list June 1 with left arm fatigue.
Braves: RHP Jacob Webb (right elbow impingement) was placed on the 10-day injured list, retroactive to Saturday.
Brewers: RHP Corbin Burnes (right shoulder irritation) was placed on the 10-day injured list. Burnes (1-5), who suffered his fifth loss of the season Sunday after allowing four earned runs on four hits while facing just four batters, said his shoulder was bothering him for four or five days but Sunday was the first day he felt it while on the mound. Brewers manager Craig Counsell said he doesn’t believe Burnes’ injury is serious but said he’ll shut him down for what he doubts will be a long time.
Brewers right-hander Brandon Woodruff (10-3, 3.67 ERA) will face right-hander Bryse Wilson (1-0, 6.14 ERA) on Tuesday in the second game of the three-game series. Woodruff lost his last start July 4 in Cincinnati after allowing just one earned run in six innings of work. Wilson will be recalled from Triple-A Gwinnett. Tuesday is expected to be a spot start for Wilson.
Keith Jenkins can be reached at https://twitter.com/MrKeithJenkins
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