ATLANTA | C.J. Cron drove in two runs, José Ureña outpitched Max Fried, and the Colorado Rockies beat Atlanta 3-2 on Tuesday night to hand the Braves their third straight loss.
Since becoming a full-time starter in 2019, Fried has 50 wins — second-most in the majors to Yankees ace Gerrit Cole (53). He had a 2.12 ERA in his previous 11 starts, but the first-time All-Star wasn’t his usual sharp self.
Fried (12-5) allowed three runs — two earned — and seven hits with one walk and three strikeouts in five innings.
“I definitely was grinding out there,” Fried said. “I’m more frustrated that the guys came out and gave us a lead early and I gave it up. I wasn’t able to get it done and it wound up costing us the game.”
Ureña (3-5) bounced back from a career-worst start to give up two runs and six hits with two walks and a season-high six strikeouts in five innings.
The defending World Series champion Braves, with the third-best record in the National League, remained three games behind the first-place New York Mets in the NL East.
Justin Lawrence faced the minimum in the sixth and four batters in the seventh for Colorado. Carlos Estévez pitched around two walks in the eighth, and Daniel Bard got three outs to earn his 28th save in 31 chances.
The Braves were 2 for 13 with runners in scoring position.
Colorado scored twice in the fourth to tie it when Brendan Rodgers tripled, Cron singled and Elehuris Montero doubled. Fried struck out Sean Bouchard with a runner at third to prevent further damage.
Fried ran into more trouble in the fifth. Garrett Hampson and Randal Grichuk singled before Fried committed a fielding error on José Iglesias’ tapper in front of the mound that loaded the bases with no outs. A groundout erased Hampson at the plate, but Cron’s RBI groundout put the Rockies up 3-2. Elias Díaz grounded out to end the inning with two runners in scoring position.
“I think it was just one of them days where he wasn’t hitting on all cylinders,” Atlanta manager Brian Snitker said. “He kept us in the game. That’s the thing. You can expend a lot of energy in five innings, and it looked like it was kind of a grind for him, which is going to happen.
“Wish we could’ve gone out and scored five or six runs for him and he would’ve gotten through. You’re not going to feel great all the time.”
Ureña, who gave up nine runs and nine hits in a 16-4 loss against Texas last Wednesday, walked Austin Riley and Matt Olson to load the bases in the first but struck out Travis d’Arnaud and Eddie Rosario to escape the jam.
“We tried to be careful and aware, even when we get a man in scoring position,” Ureña said. “We tried to make quality pitches to navigate a big lineup like that.”
The right-hander wasn’t so fortunate in the second as Vaughn Grissom reached on an infield single, stole second and scored on Dansby Swanson’s double. The Braves made it 2-0 in the third on doubles by Riley and Rosario.
“I think we made some pitches when we really needed to,” Colorado manager Bud Black said. “That’s what it takes to win a game like this.”
The Rockies are 20-42 away from Coors Field. They began the night with the worst road winning percentage in the majors.
Hampson was thrown out at the plate to end the top of the third. After walking, he tried to score on Iglesias’ double into the left-field corner but was tagged out by d’Arnaud after Swanson’s perfect relay from shortstop.
Fried made his first error since Sept. 12, 2021, against Miami. A two-time Gold Glove winner, he has committed only seven errors in six major league seasons spanning more than 600 innings.
Rockies 1B Michael Toglia, a first-round draft pick in 2019 out of UCLA, made his major league debut after having his contract selected from Triple-A Albuquerque. He went 0 for 4. … Bouchard was recalled from Albuquerque and went 1 for 4. … Braves RHP Jesse Chavez, claimed off waivers from the Angels, will be added to the active roster no later than Thursday when rosters expand to 28. Atlanta dealt Chavez and Tucker Davidson to the Angels at the Aug. 2 trade deadline to acquire RHP Raisel Iglesias.
Rockies: OF Kris Bryant (left plantar fasciitis) has made progress and is out of his boot periodically to do some high-intensity exercises, Black said, but there is no timetable for his return. “We’ll know more in a week to 10 days,” the manager said.
Braves: RF Ronald Acuña Jr. was held out of the lineup for the third straight game with pain in his surgically repaired right knee. Snitker said Acuña is day-to-day but would be playing if the Braves were in the postseason. “I’m not concerned,” Snitker said. “If we were starting the playoffs today, there would be no hesitation in putting him out there.”… RHP Mike Soroka (right Achilles) will make another rehab start Friday with Triple-A Gwinnett. … 2B Ozzie Albies (left foot fracture) is scheduled to begin a rehab assignment Thursday.
Braves RHP Kyle Wright (16-5, 2.99 ERA) is tied for the major league lead in wins. He will face RHP Ryan Feltner (2-5, 5.87) in the middle game of the series Wednesday.