Santander grand slam among 2 homers, Orioles beat Braves 9-4
ATLANTA (AP) — Anthony Santander homered from both sides of the plate, including a grand slam, and Cedric Mullins also went deep as the Baltimore Orioles won for the 14th time in 17 games, 9-4 over the Atlanta Braves on Friday night.
Dean Kremer allowed one run in six strong innings for the Orioles, who became the first team this season to go deep off Braves ace Max Fried.
Santander homered from the right side against Fried in the fourth to put Baltimore ahead to stay. Then, batting lefty in the seventh against Joe Jimenez, he delivered his first career grand slam to turn what had been a tight game into a rout.
Fried (2-1) had allowed only one earned run over his first four starts and came in with an 18-inning scoreless streak. But the long ball and two throwing errors by the Braves ace led to his worst outing of the season.
The Orioles took care of Fried's scoreless streak with an unearned run in the third, taking advantage of the pitcher's errant pickoff throw.
Baltimore blew it open with a seven-run seventh. Mullins ignited the outburst with a 390-foot shot down the right-field line that nearly reached the Chop House restaurant.
After Fried's second throwing error of the game handed the Orioles a 4-1 lead, Jimenez took over with the bases loaded. Santander cleared them with a 397-foot shot into the right-field seats.
Fried was charged with seven runs, five earned. His ERA climbed from 0.45 to 2.08.
Hot-hitting Sean Murphy drove in all four Atlanta runs, three of them on an eighth-inning homer.
In paper, at least, it looked like a pitching mismatch. Kremer (3-1) had a 6.67 ERA after surrendering at least four earned runs in all but one of his starts.
But the right-hander breezed through a Braves lineup that had scored 26 runs in a three-game sweep at Miami, surrendering six hits, walking two and striking out three.
Baltimore improved to 22-10, surpassing the Braves (22-11) for the second-best record in the big leagues. Only AL East-leading Tampa Bay is ahead of the Orioles at 27-6.
The Braves made a flurry of moves before the game. RHP Raisel Iglesias was activated from a rehab assignment and will presumably work toward taking over the closer role that was his until he was shut down in the final week of spring training with shoulder inflammation. ... SS Braden Shewmake was recalled from Triple-A Gwinnett and made his big league debut after IF Ehire Adrianza went on the 10-day injured list, retroactive to Tuesday, with right elbow inflammation. ... OF Michael Harris missed his second straight game with a jammed knee. ... C Travis d'Arnaud, who has been out nearly a month with a concussion, began a rehab assignment at Gwinnett.
RHP Kyle Bradish (1-1, 6.14 ERA) goes for the Orioles on Saturday against Atlanta RHP Spencer Strider (4-0, 2.57).
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Paul Newberry, The Associated Press