Fried, 2 relievers work 8 2/3 no-hit innings before Martinez HR spoils bid as Braves beat Mets 4-1

Atlanta’s Max Fried and two relievers combined for a no-hitter through 8 2/3 innings before New York’s J

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NEW YORK (AP) — Atlanta's Max Fried and two relievers combined for a no-hitter through 8 2/3 innings before New York's J.D. Martinez homered to spoil the bid as the Braves beat the Mets 4-1 on Saturday.

“It’s something pretty special and something for a pitching staff to be proud of, especially when it’s combined,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said. “I was hoping for the guys that they could pull it off. It’s hard.”

Fried opened with seven no-hit innings and Joe Jiménez worked around a pair of walks in the eighth before Raisel Iglesias retired the first two batters of the ninth. Martinez homered just over the wall in right field on the next pitch off Iglesias.

“Giving it up with a homer is better than an infield single,” Braves catcher Travis d’Arnaud said with a grin.

Centerfielder Michael Harris II, who earlier preserved the gem by drifting back and catching a long fly by Martinez at the wall in the seventh, said he was hopeful the ball might stay in the air long enough for right fielder Ronald Acuña Jr. to make the catch.

“(In) that right-center gap, there is a little opening where it had a chance to maybe stay in or Ronnie could have went up and brought it back or something like that,” Harris said. “But he hit it pretty good. Oh man, yeah he did it. He did his thing.”

D’Arnaud said Jiménez told him he didn’t know the Braves were working on a no-hitter. Nor did Iglesias.

“I came back in the clubhouse and they asked me if I knew it was happening,” Iglesias said via an interpreter. “And the reality is, I didn’t.”

Iglesias walked Jeff McNeil and allowed an infield single to Harrison Bader before retiring Brett Baty on a fly to center.

The hits by Martinez and Bader allowed the Mets to avoid being no-hit for the eighth time in franchise history.

“We didn’t want to get no-hit,” Martinez said. “But in that situation, that moment, I don’t know — I’m just thinking about my plan and my game and what I’m trying to do in that at-bat and off Iglesias really. You can’t get caught up in all that.”

The Braves have not thrown a no-hitter since Kent Mercker’s gem against the Los Angeles Dodgers on April 8, 1994. The no-hitter drought is the fourth-longest in the majors.

“It was almost Max Fried and Joe Jimenez and my guy ‘Iggy,’” Harris said.

The combined effort Saturday marked the fourth time since 2015 the Braves have lost a no-hitter in the ninth.

“It’s a really hard task and hard feat,” Fried said. “I thought it was a really great all-around team effort. Defense was obviously stellar.”

The Braves have the second-most wins and second-lowest ERA in baseball since 1994, a span in which Hall of Famers Tom Glavine, Greg Maddux and John Smoltz pitched for the team.

“With all the Hall of Famers running through and guys with electric stuff — they aren’t easy,” said Snitker, who said he has never witnessed a no-hitter.

Fried — who was born Jan. 18, 1994, 80 days before Mercker’s no-hitter — walked three and struck out five while throwing 109 pitches, one shy of his career high. The left-hander retired the first eight batters he faced before issuing consecutive walks to Tomas Nido and Brandon Nimmo. He then set down 11 straight before walking Pete Alonso with one out in the seventh, after which Martinez flew out to Harris.

“Frankly, I was not very good with my command at all,” Fried said. “I was just trying to keep us in the game as long as I possibly could.”

Orlando Arcia hit a two-run homer and Harris had three hits, including an RBI single for Atlanta.

Rookie right-hander Christian Scott (0-1), making his first home start for the Mets, gave up three runs and struck out eight in six-plus solid innings.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Braves: C Sean Murphy (left oblique) feels good, but is not ready to face live pitching. Murphy was injured in the season opener March 29.

Mets: OF Brandon Nimmo (right intercostal irritation) left after the fourth inning. Nimmo was visited by a trainer during a second-inning at-bat and pointed to his right side before he took a practice swing. … LHP Brooks Raley (left elbow inflammation) is scheduled to visit Dr. Keith Meister on Tuesday. The Mets expected Raley to miss the minimum amount of time when he was placed on the injured list April 21, but he has continued to feel discomfort in his elbow. Raley said all options, including surgery, are on the table heading into the visit. … Manager Carlos Mendoza said RHP Kodai Senga (right shoulder) is battling his mechanics and may need a couple more bullpen sessions before the Mets begin planning his rehab appearances.

UP NEXT

The three-game series concludes Sunday night, when Braves RHP Bryce Elder (1-1, 5.28 ERA) starts against Mets RHP Luis Severino (2-2, 2.93 ERA).

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