Braves lose as Mariners rookie wins pitchers’ duel

AP photo by John Froschauer / Atlanta Braves starter Max Fried was mostly solid in a six-inning outing Saturday night against the Seattle Mariners, but he gave up a pair of solo home runs that proved costly in a 3-1 loss.

SEATTLE — George Kirby pitches with a level of confidence not often found in rookies. It's why he's become such an asset for the Seattle Mariners.

Shutting down the hottest team in Major League Baseball should only help Kirby's confidence grow, especially with what's likely a big role for the 24-year-old right-hander in Seattle's playoff push — and potentially into the postseason.

"You can't be scared. You have to be confident, just do what you keep doing," Kirby said. "I didn't want to change anything today. I just wanted to attack them."

Sam Haggerty and Eugenio Suárez each hit a solo homer, and Kirby pitched into the seventh inning as the Mariners beat the Atlanta Braves 3-1 on Saturday night to snap the reigning World Series champions' eight-game winning streak.

A day after the Braves took sole possession of first place in the National League East for the first time all season, the division's four-time reigning champs fell a half-game behind the New York Mets again after they beat the Miami Marlins earlier Saturday.