After an ugly loss on Friday and some suboptimal injury news about Acuna, the Braves took the field needing a win to even the series against the Padres with Charlie Morton on the mound.
Charlie started the game off nicely, striking out the first two batters in a 1-2-3 first. He was also getting a lot of whiffs early, which has been a problem for him when he’s struggled early this season. He was similarly dominant in the second inning as he again struck out the first two batters. Morton did finally give up his first hit on a line drive single that was absolutely smoked by Alfaro, but once again struck out two in a scoreless inning, reaching his season high for single-game strikeouts at six. Morton stuck to the same formula, striking out two in a scoreless inning for the fourth and this is very encouraging for him. Charlie got some help from a fantastic catch by Travis Demeritte in the fifth, but gave up a run. He got back to dominance in the sixth with a 1-2-3 inning punctuated by a strikeout of Manny Machado.
Matt Olson started the game off well offensively for Atlanta as he hit his first homer in a while in the first inning to give Atlanta a 1-0 lead.
The Braves’ offense didn’t get anything going again until the third inning, with a Contreras walk and a Demeritte single. Ozzie Albies came through with a two out RBI double to score Contreras. Ozuna struck out to end the inning with a 2-0 Atlanta advantage. Austin Riley got a hard hit single with one out in the fourth and hopefully that is a good sign for him breaking out of his slump. He stole second with two outs and William Contreras at the plate, but Contreras struck out as Manaea’s tenth strikeout victim to end the inning. Demeritte smoked a single as the only baserunner in a scoreless 5th for Atlanta.
Minter came in for Morton in the seventh with a 2-1 lead and finished what was a very strong outing for Morton. Minter worked an easy 1-2-3 inning. After a scoreless seventh for the Braves offense, Will Smith came in for the eighth with a one run lead. Matt Olson missed a grounder and allowed Trent Grisham to reach second. Will then somewhat fell apart, allowing an RBI single, a double (that only had a .290 xBA to be fair), and a walk to load the bases with one out and that was the end of his evening as Kenley Jansen attempted to preserve the tie. The first pitch to Manny Machado was a potential double play ball to Austin Riley who tried to make a tough throw to second and threw it into right field instead, scoring two. Kenley got another potential double-play ball, but Dansby and Ozzie miscommunicated at second and it only resulted in one out, allowing another run to score. Kenley got out of the inning from there, but San Diego had a 5-2 lead.
Adam Duvall walked to lead off the home eighth and eventually came around to score on an Ozzie Albies RBI single with two outs. Marcell Ozuna came up and tied the game with a majestic moonshot two run homer.
Travis d’Arnaud got hit in the hand with a pitch and took second on a passed ball. Austin Riley smoked a double to left center and gave the Braves the lead back. Kenley Jansen calmly ended the game with no drama in the ninth. What a win!