SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Spencer Strider became the major leagues’ first 15-game winner, pitching three-hit ball over seven inning in leading the Atlanta Braves over the slumping San Francisco Giants 5-1 on Friday night.
Michael Harris II had three hits and drove in three runs, helping the major league-best Braves (83-44) to their eighth win in 10 games.
“He’s just really good,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said of Strider. “He had a really good fastball, everything, the whole package was good. His fastball was one of the good ones that he has.”
San Francisco has lost 13 of 18 and is one game behind the Chicago Cubs for the NL’s final wild card berth.
Seven days after beating San Francisco with one-hit ball over seven innings, Strider (15-4) was dominant again while outdueling Logan Webb (9-10) in a match-up of NL Cy Young Award contenders. Strider struck out nine to increase his big league-high total to 236. He extended a shutout streak to 20 innings before Joc Pederson tripled in the seventh and scored on J.D. Davis’ groundout.
“Fastball command was really good. That was what led to a lot of success, quick outs, fly ball outs,” Strider said. “It’s playing the way we want it to. Got the lead early and (then) the goal is just to try to get as deep as we can and put up zeroes.”
Strider also made a strong defensive play after jamming Paul DeJong with a pitch hit weakly toward first. Strider raced over and picked up the ball in front of first baseman Matt Olson then beat DeJong to the bag for the out.
Joe Jiménez and Raisel Iglesias retired three batters each to complete the six-hitter.
Webb had never lost to the Braves in five previous career starts and was coming off a no-decision in Atlanta last week. He allowed five runs and six hits in 5 1/3 innings and had a 7.15 ERA over the two starts against the Braves.
Harris hit his 12th homer of the season in the first and had a two-run single in the sixth. Matt Olson doubled in a run in the fourth and added a sacrifice fly off Alex Wood in the sixth.
Harris has been batting second in Atlanta’s order while injured All-Star second baseman Ozzie Albies is out. Prior to that Harris had been last in the lineup.
“At first it took some adjustment but I love hitting behind (Ronald Acuña Jr),” Harris said. “I guess I get some more opportunities because whenever I come up in the nine hole, everybody’s already done and hit home runs.”
Acuña Jr., the Braves’ All-Star right fielder, ran deep into Triples Alley in the third inning and made a one-handed grab of Thairo Estrada’s fly to strand two runners.
“That was big, too,” Snitker said. “He got a great jump. He’s just so athletic whenever he’s chasing balls like that.”
TRAINER’S ROOM Braves: Albies has rejoined the team and is working out while rehabbing from a hamstring injury. Snitker is hopeful of getting Albies back at some point on the trip. ... LHP Dylan Lee (shoulder inflammation) is scheduled to throw batting practice Saturday.
Giants: OF Michael Conforto went on the 10-day injured list with a left hamstring strain. OF Heliot Ramos was recalled from Triple-A Sacramento. ... INF Johan Camargo cleared waivers and was assigned outright to Sacramento.
Atlanta LHP Max Fried (4-1, 2.83 ERA) starts Saturday and is unbeaten on three previous starts against San Francisco.
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