Braves lose Max Fried on opening day, beat Nationals 7-2

Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

WASHINGTON – 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 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.

E-6, E-6, E-6

Abrams, who arrived last season in the trade that sent Juan Soto to the Padres, was charged with one fielding error and two throwing errors.

“There’s no excuses,” Abrams said. “I got to be better.”

Manager Dave Martinez called the repeated miscues “kind of disappointing,” but added: “These are going to be some of the growing pains we have. They’re teaching moments. We’re going to teach them and we’re going to get them to understand.” ARCIA’S DEAL

The Braves agreed to terms with starting SS Orlando Arcia on a three-year deal. A person with knowledge of the contract told The Associated Press it’s worth $6.3 million for two years, with a $2 million club option or a $1 million buyout for 2026. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because terms of the deal were not announced.


Nationals RHP Stephen Strasburg was put on the 60-day injured list Thursday as he recovers from an operation for thoracic outlet syndrome. General manager Mike Rizzo said the 2019 World Series MVP is simply resting at this point. “He’s not doing anything, baseball-wise. I met with him yesterday. We had a good discussion. He’s not going to be here today. He felt that he didn’t want to distract from the opening day festivities,” Rizzo said. It is not clear when, or even whether, Strasburg might pitch again in the majors.


The series resumes Saturday with Braves RHP Spencer Strider facing Nationals RHP Josiah Gray.

Padres claim 2-time All-Star catcher Gary Sánchez off waivers from Mets

Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

SAN DIEGO — The scuffling San Diego Padres claimed catcher Gary Sánchez off waivers from the New York Mets.

The two-time All-Star was designated for assignment after playing in three games for the Mets. He went 1 for 6 with three strikeouts and an RBI, looking shaky at times behind the plate.

With the disappointing Padres (24-29) getting meager offensive production at catcher, they hope Sánchez can provide a boost. Austin Nola is batting .131 with three extra-base hits and a paltry .434 OPS in 39 games. His part-time platoon partner, second-stringer Brett Sullivan, is hitting .170 with four extra-base hits and a .482 OPS in 21 games since getting called up from the minors April 16.

Luis Campusano has been on the injured list since April 17 and is expected to be sidelined until around the All-Star break following left thumb surgery.

San Diego is responsible for just over $1 million in salary for Sánchez after assuming his $1.5 million, one-year contract.

The star-studded Padres have lost seven of 11 and are 3-3 on a nine-game East Coast trip. They open a three-game series at Miami.

San Diego becomes the third National League team to take a close look at the 30-year-old Sánchez this season. He spent time in the minors with San Francisco before getting released May 2 and signing a minor league contract a week later with the Mets, who were minus a couple of injured catchers at the time.

After hitting well in a short stint at Triple-A Syracuse, he was promoted to the big leagues May 19. When the Mets reinstated catcher Tomás Nido from the injured list last week, Sánchez was cut.

Sánchez’s best seasons came early in his career with the New York Yankees, where he was runner-up in 2016 AL Rookie of the Year voting and made the AL All-Star team in 2017 and 2019.

He was traded to Minnesota before the 2022 season and batted .205 with 16 homers and 61 RBIs in 128 games last year.

With the Padres, Sánchez could also be a candidate for at-bats at designated hitter, where 42-year-old Nelson Cruz is batting .245 with three homers, 16 RBIs and a .670 OPS, and 37-year-old Matt Carpenter is hitting .174 with four homers, 21 RBIs and a .652 OPS.