ATLANTA (AP)Ozzie Albies and Adam Duvall each hit a two-run homer off Patrick Corbin, Max Fried pitched six strong innings and the Atlanta Braves beat the Washington Nationals 5-4 on Sunday.
Albies was 3 for his last 26 when he went deep for the 18th time to make it 2-1 in the third inning.
Corbin has allowed 27 homers, most in the National League, and is 0-4 with a 7.22 ERA in his last five starts. The lefty has lost his last five starts against Atlanta.
The three-time defending East Division champion Braves, winners in five of six, began the day two games behind Philadelphia and in third place. They won a second consecutive series for the first time since June 29-July 4 against the New York Mets and Miami Marlins.
Fried had gone 1-1 with an 8.44 ERA in three starts against the Nationals this season. Fried (9-7) stranded runners on first and third to end the sixth. He allowed seven hits and one run with one walk and five strikeouts.
Atlanta made it 5-1 in the sixth when Albies walked and scored on Austin Riley’s double and Duvall hit his 24th homer.
Chris Martin faced five batters in the ninth for the Braves, earning a shaky first save in three chances. Ryan Zimmerman doubled in a run to make it 5-4 off Martin.
Corbin (6-11) gave up five hits and five runs with one walk and five strikeouts in six innings.
The Nationals led 1-0 in the third. Luis Garcia singled, advanced on a walk and a bunt and scored on Alcides Escobar’s single. RBI singles by Victor Robles and Zimmerman trimmed the lead to 5-3 against Jesse Chavez in the seventh.
Fried struck out Josh Bell to strand a runner at second base in the first. Yadiel Hernandez singled in the second and was erased on a double-play grounder.
The Nationals have dropped six of seven. They began the day eight games behind the Phillies.
Nationals RF Juan Soto, nursing a right knee bruise, was held out of the lineup for the third straight game before striking out as a pinch-hitter in the eighth. He walked as a pinch-hitter Saturday but told manager Dave Martinez that he felt ”a little iffy” running the bases. Martinez hopes Soto can return to the lineup Tuesday.
Braves 1B Freddie Freeman was not in the lineup after leaving Saturday’s game with an upper respiratory infection, but he entered as a defensive replacement in the seventh. Freeman had started 110 of Atlanta’s 111 games. Since his first full season of 2011, Freeman has made 1,471 starts, the second-most in the majors to Kansas City’s Carlos Santana.
CHANGE IT UP
Bell started in right field for the first time since 2016 with Pittsburgh. Martinez wanted to get him and 1B Zimmerman in the same lineup for the first time this season. Bell fielded two singles but did not have a fly ball hit his way. He and Zimmerman combined to go 4 for 10.
Nationals: After an off day Monday, RHP Paolo Espino (3-3, 3.66 ERA) will face RHP Carlos Carrasco (0-0, 3.24) when Washington opens a three-game series at the New York Mets.
Braves: After an off day Monday, LHP Drew Smyly (7-3, 4.50) will face RHP Sonny Gray (4-6, 4.44) when Atlanta opens a three-game home series against Cincinnati.
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