Everything that went right for the Tampa Bay Rays on Friday night in Atlanta went against them on Saturday, as the Braves used a six-run fourth inning to jump out in front and rolled to a 9-0 win at Truist Park.
Both Rays starter Josh Fleming and his Atlanta counterpart Max Fried were able to keep the game scoreless through the first three innings. But things unraveled in the fourth for the Tampa Bay left hander, as Fleming allowed a sacrifice fly and five hits, capped by a two-run double by Fried that came after Fleming intentionally walked Kevan Smith, and a two-run homer by Joc Pederson in his first Braves start. Freddie Freeman‘s 21st home run of year, which came an inning later, extended the deficit to 7-0, while Dansby Swanson made it an 8-0 game in the sixth with an RBI double off J.P. Feyereisen, and Freeman’s sacrifice fly later in the inning plated Fried to cap the scoring.
Tampa Bay’s bats were held nearly silent by the Atlanta right-hander, as Fried allowed just four hits in seven innings of work, striking out seven and walking one.
The Rays best pitching performance may have come from catcher Francisco Mejia, who worked a scoreless eighth inning on just seven pitches.
Tampa Bay remains 1 1/2 games behind the Boston Red Sox for the lead in the American League East.