Braves Even Series Behind Dominant Max Fried Complete Game and Big Offensive Inning

The Atlanta Braves dominated the Chicago Cubs in all facets for an easy win to set up a series-deciding matinee on Thursday
Atlanta Braves pitcher Max Fried pitched a complete game against the Chicago Cubs on Wednesday evening in Wrigley Field.
Atlanta Braves pitcher Max Fried pitched a complete game against the Chicago Cubs on Wednesday evening in Wrigley Field. / David Banks-USA TODAY Sports
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The Atlanta Braves used a big inning and another dominant start from the rotation to take down the Chicago Cubs 9-1 in historic Wrigley Field on Wednesday night, evening the series at one game each. 

Here’s what you need to know about from the contest.

What more can we say about Max Fried? 

Atlanta’s ace was masterful tonight, taking a perfect game into the 6th inning. He lost it only when Ian Happ doubled to lead off the inning, with Happ eventually coming around to score to ruin the shutout, too.

The lefty went the distance, allowing only two runs (one earned) on three hits, not walking a batter and striking out nine. While he didn’t quite get the Maddux, taking 105 pitches (72 strikes) to get through this one, it was a welcome reprieve for a bullpen that’s had to cover some additional innings during the first half of this stretch of seventeen games in seventeen days. Per the Bally Sports broadcast, Max is only the third pitcher in recent history to have two complete games prior to June 1st, joining German Marquez (2021 Colorado Rockies) and Nathan Eovaldi (2023 Texas Rangers). 

Fried finished with eighteen whiffs and an absurd 36% CSW in this one, with the Cubs getting only five hard-hit balls tonight. 

After the game, Fried discussed what the offense putting up the run totals they did can do for a pitcher’s psyche as he gets deep into a game: 

“They’re some of the most talented hitters in the league, and [...] time and time again, as long as we (the pitchers) can keep it close and wait for them to was a matter of time.”  

Atlanta hung a crooked number in the 7th

The Braves channeled the 2023 version of the team and put away Chicago with a big 7th inning that featured a squeeze bunt and multiple homers. 

Zack Short got the scoring started, bunting Orlando Arcia in from third base, but Marcell Ozuna hit his NL-leading 15 homer and was followed up by Matt Olson hitting a solo shot behind him, the second time that duo has gone back-to-back since Ozuna temporarily moved up to the three-spot in the lineup after Austin Riley’s injury. 

Atlanta finished with six runs in the inning, the biggest single inning they’ve had since a seven-run eighth inning in the series opener. It’s the first time that the Braves have scored eight or more runs in a game since Travis d’Arnaud hit three homers on April 19th. 

Marcell Ozuna’s streak lives

By homering in the 7th inning, Marcell Ozuna extended his hitting streak to fifteen games. It’s the 2nd hitting streak of fifteen or more games for the slugger this season, with his career-best seventeen-game hit streak being snapped on April 19th. He’s the only player in MLB with two ten-plus game hitting streaks this season. It’s the first time that a Braves player had two hitting streaks of 15 games or longer in the same season since Ender Inciarte did it in 2016 (18 games and 19 games).  

What’s next for the Atlanta Braves?

The Braves are looking to take the series in the finale tomorrow afternoon at 2:20 PM ET. It’s officially “TBA” for both teams; the Braves are expected to start call-up Darius Vines, who has been in the bullpen for long relief if needed since being called up on Monday. He started to warm up on Tuesday during Charlie Morton’s early struggles, but the veteran settled down and Vines ended up not being used (and not getting fully hot, either.). 

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Lindsay Crosby


Managing Editor for Braves Today and the 2023 IBWAA Prospects/Minors Writer of the Year. You can reach him at