DENVER — It's called a winning streak. It has happened before.
Just not to the Atlanta Braves in 2022.
Max Fried pitched eight scoreless innings, Matt Olson hit a two-run single in the 10th and the Braves beat the Colorado Rockies 3-1 on Friday night, making the reigning World Series champions the last Major League Baseball team to win three straight games this season.
In only the second game in Coors Field history to be scoreless after nine innings, Carlos Estevez (1-2) walked and hit a batter to load the bases in the 10th. His wild pitch allowed automatic runner Adam Duvall to score.
Olson then hit a liner to left field off Lucas Gilbreath, making a winner of A.J. Minter (1-0), who worked the ninth. Kenley Jansen gave up an RBI single to Yonathan Daza before earning his 13th save this year for the inconsistent Braves, who moved within a game of .500 at 26-27.
Atlanta won 13-6 on Thursday to open the four-game series in Denver after winning 6-0 on Wednesday to avoid being swept in a three-game set with the host Arizona Diamondbacks.
Fried, who used a mix of pitches that kept the Rockies off balance, allowed just two hits and didn't walk a batter until there was one out in the eighth.
"Everything was just nails. I mean slider, change, curve, his fastball. I saw him getting after it a couple innings like he was emptying the tank," Braves manager Brian Snitker said. "You expect to win the game when he pitches."
The left-hander set down the first nine batters he faced. Connor Joe led off the fourth with an opposite-field ground single to extend his on-base streak to 30 games. Fried worked around Randal Grichuk's leadoff double in the sixth and helped snap Brendan Rodgers' 20-game hitting streak.
Fried, who led the majors with two shutouts in 2021 and was the winning pitcher in Atlanta's title-clinching victory against the Houston Astros last fall, threw 102 pitches and struck out four batters.
"I felt like I had a little bit of everything working," he said.
The loss spoiled a striking turnaround through nine innings for Colorado's struggling pitching, as Chad Kuhl and three relievers combined to keep the Braves off the scoreboard.
The Rockies entered having allowed 39 runs and 51 hits in three games over two days. As manager Bud Black faced questions about his coaching staff before the game, Colorado was in danger of becoming the first team since the 1928 Philadelphia Phillies to give up 12 or more runs in four straight games.
Kuhl got off to a rough start, walking two batters and allowing two singles in the first. But the Braves didn't score thanks to second baseman Rodgers throwing out Ronald Acuña Jr. at home on a first-and-third steal attempt.
Kuhl settled down from there. He was at 60 pitches through three innings but needed just 28 more to get through six. Atlanta shortstop Dansby Swanson had three of the five hits allowed by Kuhl, who has given up only three runs in his past three starts.
"Fastball command was key. I felt like I was attacking and getting strike one a lot," Kuhl said. "When you throw a lot of pitches through one or two innings, you're thinking get through five. But I was able to get through six."
Alex Colome, Tyler Kinley and Daniel Bard each pitched a shutout inning, making it the first scoreless game to go to the 10th in Denver since Sept. 14, 2008, when the Rockies beat the Los Angeles Dodgers, whose starter that day was Greg Maddux — the former Brave who was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 2014.
"Being able to pitch here is a challenge," Fried said. "I just wanted to be myself, pitch my game, move the ball around and change speeds."
Black said the team is not considering replacing pitching coach Darryl Scott despite a 5.34 team ERA entering Friday, second-worst in the majors.
Said Black: "He's a good coach."
Daza dropped a fly ball to center in the sixth, giving the Rockies a MLB-high 43 errors.
Off the field, Duvall became the third Atlanta player to have an in-season salary arbitration hearing, an oddity caused by the lockout. Duvall, who went 0-for-4, is asking for $10,275,000 this season; the Braves countered with $9,275,000.
Relief pitcher Luke Jackson and third baseman Austin Riley have lost their cases, and Fried's will be heard later this month.
"All of our guys have handled it like the professionals they are," Snitker said.