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Charlie Morton struggles as Braves fall to Mets

Atlanta drops two of three in the series and are 2.5 games back in the NL East.

New York Mets v Atlanta Braves Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images

The Atlanta Braves were never able to get on track Wednesday as they suffered a 7-3 loss to the New York Mets.

Charlie Morton allowed a single to Pete Alonso, but struck out two, including Luis Guillorme to leave him stranded. Morton retired the first two hitters in the second before Eduardo Escobar ambushed a first pitch fastball and drove it out to right to give the Mets an early 1-0 lead.

Morton ran into trouble again in the third as the Mets added on. A leadoff walk to No. 9 hitter Tomas Nido began Morton’s troubles. Brandon Nimmo followed with a single to center and then both runs scored on a long home run by Francisco Lindor. Morton avoided anymore damage with a couple of strikeouts, but the Braves found themselves in a 4-0 hole.

While the Mets got to Morton early, the Braves weren’t able to do the same against Chris Bassitt. Ronald Acuña Jr. led off the first with a single, but was thrown out trying to steal. Eddie Rosario doubled with two outs in the second, but was left stranded as Adam Duvall grounded out to end the inning. Acuña walked again in the third and successfully stole second, but Bassitt struck out Dansby Swanson for the third out.

Austin Riley singled with one out in the fourth, but was erased on a ground out by William Contreras. Rosario followed with a single to put runners at second and third, but again Duvall was unable to come through as he grounded out to Lindor for the third out.

Despite having thrown 94 pitches, Morton came back out for the sixth and promptly allowed a solo homer to Mark Canha to extend the deficit to 5-0. He then walked Dominic Smith before giving way to Jesse Chavez who retired the next three hitters in order.

An uneven day for Morton who gave up a lot of hard contact early and probably shouldn’t have been back out for the sixth. He allowed six hits, three walks and five runs over five innings. He struck out six and threw a season-high 107 pitches. It was just the second time in his career that he has allowed three home runs in a start.

The Braves finally got some offense against Bassitt in the sixth as Matt Olson squared up a change up and drove it over the centerfield wall for a solo homer.

Chavez stayed in for the seventh and allowed a single to Nimmo. Lindor followed with a grounder to first that Olson couldn’t handle to put runners at first and second. Chavez struck out Alonso, but Guillorme followed with a double down the left field line to make it 6-1. Chavez then struck out Canha for the second out, but then balked in a run to make it 7-1. Smith grounded out to bring the inning to a merciful end.

Kenley Jansen was activated off of the injured list Wednesday and made his first appearance since June 26 in the eighth inning and retired the side in order.

Austin Riley hit his 25th home run of the season off of Drew Smith in the eighth to make it 7-2.

Rosario added a solo shot of his own in the ninth, his third hit of the game, to round out the scoring.

Atlanta drops two of three in the series and are 52-37 on the season. They will now head to Washington where they will close out the first half of the season with a four-game series against the Nationals.

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