Max Fried Has Rocky Return to Majors

Max Fried Has Rocky Return to Majors

The Braves' top Jewish prospect gives up a walk-off two-run home run without getting an out against the Reds.

Max Fried pitches for the Braves on Aug. 8, 2017, against the Philadelphia Phillies. (Photo courtesy Pouya Dianat/Atlanta Braves)
Max Fried pitches for the Braves on Aug. 8, 2017, against the Philadelphia Phillies. (Photo courtesy Pouya Dianat/Atlanta Braves)

Atlanta Braves pitcher Max Fried had an unsuccessful return to the big leagues Tuesday night, giving up a walk-off two-run home run in a 7-5 loss in 12 innings at Cincinnati.

Fried didn’t retire a batter in his first appearance of the year. The left-hander walked Joey Votto on five pitches to start the inning, then hung a 1-2 curveball that Scooter Gennett crushed to right field to end the game.

Because he gave up two runs without retiring a batter, Fried technically has an infinite earned-run average.

Gennett’s home run, his second of the night and the first walk-off hit of his career, was a sudden, disappointing end to a promising night for the Braves and their Jewish rookie pitcher.

The Braves didn’t have a hit through the first six innings and trailed 7-3 heading into the ninth inning. But Freddie Freeman, who broke up Tyler Mahle’s no-hitter with a home run to lead off the seventh inning, hit another long home run to start the ninth-inning rally that tied the score at 7 and sent the game into extra innings.

Fried got the call late Monday night to return to the major leagues, and he flew to Cincinnati on Tuesday morning from Rochester, N.Y., where the AAA Gwinnett Stripers were playing,’s Mark Bowman reported.

Fried’s stay in the National League is likely to be temporary, Bowman reported. The Braves need a long reliever “to get us through this spell for a while,” Manager Brian Snitker said.

The Braves removed reliever Miguel Socolovich, who struggled Monday night, from the roster to make room for Fried.

The 24-year-old Fried remains a part of the Braves’ long-term plans, possibly as a starting pitcher, the role he has filled throughout his minor-league career, MLB Trade Rumors reported.

Fried made a strong debut for the Braves last fall after being called up from AA Mississippi. He got his first win in a start against the Cubs at Wrigley field and finished the season with a 3.81 ERA in nine appearances.

But he struggled in spring training this year, and the Braves sent him back to Mississippi to start the season. But after one shutout start in the Southern League, he was promoted to Gwinnett, where he pitched twice, getting one win and one no-decision.

Overall, he is 1-0 with a 1.72 ERA in three minor-league starts this year. He has struck out 16 but walked seven in 15.2 innings for Mississippi and Gwinnett.

Fried’s arrival is not the promotion most Braves fans are likely to focus on this week, however. Hot outfield prospect Ronald Acuna is expected to be called up from Gwinnett and inserted into the starting lineup in left field tonight, according to multiple reports. It’s not known yet who will lose his roster spot to make room for Acuna.

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