Kelenic drives in 2, Yankees shut down by Fried to drop rubber game to Braves 3-1

Jarred Kelenic Braves Yankees
Jun 23, 2024; Bronx, New York, USA; Atlanta Braves center fielder Jarred Kelenic (24) hits a solo home run in the third inning against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

For the second time in three games, the New York Yankees were held to just a singular run to lose the rubber game of their series against the Atlanta Braves 3-1 on Sunday afternoon at Yankee Stadium. 

Braves starter Max Fried allowed just one run on six hits with four strikeouts and no walks over six innings of work before a trio of relievers limited the Yankees to a single hit over the final three innings of the day. 

Suddenly the Yankees (52-28) are amidst their bumpiest stretch of the season with seven losses in their last 10 games. They have been held to three or fewer runs four times during that stretch.

New York starter Nestor Cortes put together his third consecutive quality start in what ultimately was a losing effort, allowing three runs on five hits in seven innings pitched with seven strikeouts. 

Jarred Kelenic — a former Mets top prospect — accounted for two of Atlanta’s three runs scored on Sunday. In the top of the third, he took a first-pitch cutter that Cortes left up in the zone and deposited it 383 feet away into the right-center-field seats. 

After a Ramon Laureano single and an Orlando Arcia double to put two on in the fifth, Kelenic drove his second run of the day home with a sacrifice fly to center. With two outs in the frame, Ozzie Albies drove in the Braves’ third and final run of the afternoon with a single to right.

The Yankees pulled one back in the sixth inning when Anthony Volpe doubled to center to score Trent Grisham and make it a two-run game with no outs. Fried bore down, however, and with the help from Arcia’s defense at shortstop, got out of the jam.

Juan Soto grounded to Arcia, who threw to third in time to get Volpe for the first out. Aaron Judge singled to put runners at the corners, but Fried coaxed a 3-1 grounder from Alex Verdugo that was rolled to Arcia right next to the second-base bag. He stepped on second himself and threw to first to end the inning. 

The Yankees’ two at-bats with runners in scoring position in that sixth inning were the only ones they had all game. 

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