Max Fried sharp, Braves blank Brewers 3-0 to tie NLDS

Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
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MILWAUKEE — Max Fried pitched six sharp innings and Atlanta’s bullpen held on after manager Brian Snitker’s quick hook, sending the Braves over the Milwaukee Brewers 3-0 to tie their NL Division Series at a game apiece.

The Brewers brought the tying run to the plate in each of the last three innings but couldn’t get a key hit.

Austin Riley homered and Ozzie Albies hit an RBI double for the Braves, who bounced back after losing 2-1 in Game 1.

The best-of-five series heads to Atlanta for Game 3.

Fried struck out nine, allowed three hits and didn’t walk anybody. The Brewers didn’t get a runner in scoring position until Willy Adames hit a two-out double in the sixth, and Fried responded by striking out Eduardo Escobar.

The left-hander went 7-0 with a 1.46 ERA over his last 11 regular-season starts. Counting Saturday’s performance, Fried has allowed just one earned run over 29 innings in his last four starts.

This was the second straight exceptional outing by a Braves starter in a series that has been dominated by pitching.

Atlanta’s Charlie Morton held Milwaukee scoreless through six innings, but allowed a two-run homer to Rowdy Tellez in the seventh inning on his 85th and final pitch.

Snitker made sure Fried didn’t get quite that far. Fried had thrown 81 pitches when he was pulled for a pinch-hitter in the top of the seventh.

The move nearly gave Atlanta two extra runs. After pinch-hitter Joc Pederson singled, Jorge Soler hit a deep drive that left fielder Christian Yelich caught in front of the wall.

Then the Brewers made things interesting against Atlanta’s bullpen.

After reliever Luke Jackson struck out the first two batters he faced in the seventh, Luis Urias singled and Lorenzo Cain walked to bring the potential tying run to the plate. Tyler Matzek replaced Jackson and got out of the jam by striking out pinch-hitter Tyrone Taylor.

Jace Peterson walked and Kolten Wong singled to start the bottom of the eighth, but Matzek worked out of it by retiring Adames, Escobar and Avisail Garcia in order.

Will Smith worked around a leadoff walk to Yelich and a single by Urias in the ninth by getting a flyout and a groundball double play for his first career postseason save.

Four Atlanta pitchers struck out 14 and combined on a six-hitter.

The Braves took a 2-0 lead in the third off Brandon Woodruff and were inches away from getting a third run in that inning.

Soler hit a one-out double down the left-field line and beat the throw home when Freddie Freeman singled to right. Albies drove in Freeman with an RBI double that went off the yellow at the top of the right-field wall.

Albies was left stranded at second, but the Braves extended the lead to 3-0 three innings later when Riley sent an 0-1 pitch over the center-field wall.

Woodruff struck out seven while allowing three runs, five hits and one walk in six innings. The All-Star right-hander had the worst run support of any major league starting pitcher during the regular season, which explains why he went 9-10 despite owning a sparkling 2.56 ERA.

OUTDOOR BASEBALL

With no rain in the forecast and temperatures in the 70s, Saturday marked just the third time the roof was open for a playoff game at American Family Field. Of the 16 playoff contests at this stadium since its 2001 opening, the only others to take place outdoors were the first two games of the 2011 NL Championship Series.

NOT SO BATTY

The Braves are hitting just .175 (11 for 64) in the series. Milwaukee isn’t doing much better at .183 (11 for 60).

UP NEXT

The series heads to Atlanta with RHP Ian Anderson (9-5, 3.58 ERA) pitching for the Braves on Monday. The Brewers haven’t announced their Game 3 starter.

Gaylord Perry, two-time Cy Young winner, dies at 84

Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports
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GAFFNEY, S.C. — Baseball Hall of Famer and two-time Cy Young Award winner Gaylord Perry, a master of the spitball and telling stories about the pitch, died at 84.

Perry died at his home in Gaffney, Cherokee County Coroner Dennis Fowler said. He did not provide additional details. A statement from the Perry family said he “passed away peacefully at his home after a short illness.”

The native of Williamston, North Carolina, made history as the first player to win the Cy Young in both leagues, with Cleveland in 1972 after a 24-16 season and with San Diego in 1978 – going 21-6 for his fifth and final 20-win season just after turning 40.

“Before I won my second Cy Young, I thought I was too old – I didn’t think the writers would vote for me,” Perry said in an article on the National Baseball Hall of Fame website. “But they voted on my performance, so I won it.”

“Gaylord Perry was a consistent workhorse and a memorable figure in his Hall of Fame career,” MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement, adding, “he will be remembered among the most accomplished San Francisco Giants ever … and remained a popular teammate and friend throughout his life.”

Perry was drafted by the San Francisco Giants and spent 10 seasons among legendary teammates like Hall of Famer Willie Mays, who said Thursday that Perry “was a good man, a good ballplayer and my good friend. So long old Pal.”

Juan Marichal remembered Perry as “smart, funny, and kind to everyone in the clubhouse. When he talked, you listened.”

“During our 10 seasons together in the San Francisco Giants rotation, we combined to record 369 complete games, more than any pair of teammates in the Major Leagues,” Marichal said. “I will always remember Gaylord for his love and devotion to the game of baseball, his family, and his farm.”

Perry, who pitched for eight major-league teams from 1962 until 1983, was a five-time All-Star who was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1991. He had a career record of 314-255, finished with 3,554 strikeouts and used a pitching style where he doctored baseballs or made batters believe he was doctoring them.

The National Baseball Hall of Fame said in a statement that Perry was “one of the greatest pitchers of his generation.” The Texas Rangers, whom Perry played for twice, said in a statement that the pitcher was “a fierce competitor every time he took the ball and more often than not gave the Rangers an opportunity to win the game.”

“The Rangers express their sincere condolences to Gaylord’s family at this difficult time,” the team’s statement said. “This baseball great will be missed.”

Perry’s 1974 autobiography was titled “Me and the Spitter,” and he wrote it in that when he started in 1962 he was the “11th man on an 11-man pitching staff” for the Giants. He needed an edge and learned the spitball from San Francisco teammate Bob Shaw.

Perry said he first threw it in May 1964 against the New York Mets, pitched 10 innings without giving up a run and soon after entered the Giants’ starting rotation.

He also wrote in the book that he chewed slippery elm bark to build up his saliva, and eventually stopped throwing the pitch in 1968 after MLB ruled pitchers could no longer touch their fingers to their mouths before touching the baseball.

According to his book, he looked for other substances, like petroleum jelly, to doctor the baseball. He used various motions and routines to touch different parts of his jersey and body to get hitters thinking he was applying a foreign substance.

Giants teammate Orlando Cepeda said Perry had “a great sense of humor … a great personality and was my baseball brother.”

“In all my years in baseball, I never saw a right-handed hurler have such a presence on the field and in the clubhouse,” Cepeda added.

Seattle Mariners Chairman John Stanton said in a release that he spoke with Perry during his last visit to Seattle, saying Perry was, “delightful and still passionate in his opinions on the game, and especially on pitching.

Perry was ejected from a game just once for doctoring a baseball – when he was with Seattle in August 1982. In his final season with Kansas City, Perry and teammate Leon Roberts tried to hide George Brett’s infamous pine-tar bat in the clubhouse but was stopped by a guard. Perry was ejected for his role in that game, too.

After his career, Perry founded the baseball program at Limestone College in Gaffney and was its coach for the first three years.

Perry is survived by wife Deborah, and three of his four children in Allison, Amy and Beth. Perry’s son Jack had previously died.

Deborah Perry said in a statement to The AP that Gaylord Perry was “an esteemed public figure who inspired millions of fans and was a devoted husband, father, friend and mentor who changed the lives of countless people with his grace, patience and spirit.”

The Hall of Fame’s statement noted that Perry often returned for induction weekend “to be with his friends and fans.”

“We extend our deepest sympathy to his wife, Deborah, and the entire Perry family,” Baseball Hall of Fame chairman Jane Forbes Clark said.