The Atlanta Braves will send ace Max Fried to the mound to open a four-game series Monday night against the visiting San Francisco Giants that kicks off a stretch of 10 games against playoff contenders.
The Braves are coming off a 21-8 stretch against teams with losing records.
Fried (7-2, 2.90 ERA), a left-hander, will be opposed by San Francisco right-hander Logan Webb (6-2, 3.43) in the first meeting between the teams this season.
Atlanta is coming off a 6-0 win over the Chicago Cubs on Sunday that enabled the Braves to salvage a game from the three-game set. San Francisco was beaten 4-3 by the Pittsburgh Pirates on Sunday to end a two-game winning streak.
Atlanta has won 15 of its last 17 and San Francisco has won seven of its last nine. The Braves will follow with three games at home against the Los Angeles Dodgers and three at the Philadelphia Phillies.
"It's a tough stretch, but everybody goes through it," Atlanta manager Brian Snitker said. "I think we did a good job in the last stretch of beating the teams you're supposed to beat, and that's not easy to do. We're going into this 10 days, two weeks, whatever, and it's going to be tough."
Fried has not lost since April 13 against the Washington Nationals. He won his most recent start, against the Nationals on Tuesday, although he worked only 5 2/3 innings and allowed four runs. He had given up only four combined runs in his previous four starts.
Fried has made five appearances (four starts) against the Giants, going 3-0 with a 2.05 ERA. He most recently beat San Francisco 3-0 on Sept. 19 by throwing seven shutout innings.
Webb is coming off an excellent start, when he threw seven scoreless innings with nine strikeouts in a 4-2 win over Kansas City on Tuesday. It was his first win since May 13.
Webb has made three career starts against Atlanta, going 2-0 with a 1.35 ERA. The most recent outing was Sept. 17, when he received no decision after giving up two runs over seven innings.
Webb has helped the San Francisco starters get back on track. The Giants had the second-worst ERA of any team in May (5.44) but have bounced back to post a 2.64 ERA in the first 17 games of June.
Among those who have been having an offensive impact for San Francisco is Joc Pederson, who helped the Braves win the 2021 World Series. Pederson, who will receive his championship ring during the visit, is hitting .319 with two doubles, seven home runs and 22 RBIs in 23 games since May 24.
"I think we can point to a lot of games and say it was no one individual that won it for us, although we've had some great efforts by various individuals," Giants manager Gabe Kapler said. "But for the most part, we're a mix-and-match, team-style club."
Atlanta's Matt Olson had three doubles on Sunday and leads the major leagues with 27 in that category.
--Field Level Media