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Braves’ defense falters in 7-2 loss to Phillies

Atlanta drops two of three in Philadelphia

Atlanta Braves v Philadelphia Phillies Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

A rough fifth inning defensively sent the Atlanta Braves to a 7-2 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies Wednesday afternoon.

Charlie Morton was locked in early as he breezed through the first three innings, allowing just one hit to go along with four strikeouts.

The Phillies threatened in the fourth as J.T. Realmuto reached on a swinging bunt with one out, and then advanced all the way to third on a single up the middle by Darick Hall. However, Morton got Nick Castellanos to ground a first-pitch curveball to Dansby Swanson who started the 6-4-3 double play to end the inning.

Philadelphia finally scratched across runs in the fifth as Atlanta’s defense let them down. Morton walked Bryson Stott to lead off the inning. Stott advanced all the way to third on an errant pickoff attempt, and then came in to score the first run of the game on a single by Alec Bohm. Didi Gregorius then reached on a fielding error by Robinson Cano to put runners at first and second. Odubel Herrera followed with a single to left that scored Bohm to make it 2-0. With Morton being left in despite facing the lineup a third time through, a sacrifice fly by Kyle Schwarber scored Gregorius to make it 3-0. Morton then walked Rhys Hoskins. After a double steal put runners at second and third, Realmuto singled to center to score two more to make it 5-0. Mercifully, Darick Hall bounced into a double play to end the inning.

While the Phillies finally got to Morton, Kyle Gibson held Atlanta’s offense in check over the first five innings, allowing two walks and a pair of singles to Eddie Rosario.

Atlanta finally got to Gibson in the sixth as Dansby Swanson reached on a single off Bohm’s glove at third and then came around to score on Matt Olson’s 20th home run of the season.

Morton gave way to Tyler Matzek in the sixth. Morton deserved a better fate as things unraveled on him in the fifth. Morton allowed six hits and five runs, although only four were earned. He walked two and struck out five while throwing 84 pitches. His line, like basically everyone’s, would’ve looked better had he been removed after facing his 18th batter.

Atlanta’s defensive alignment came back to haunt them again in the sixth as the Phillies got both runs back. Castellanos led off the inning with a fly ball to right center that fell between Rosario and Cano for a double. After a fly out by Stott, Bohm doubled to the right field corner on a ball that Rosario was unable to cut off. Castellanos scored to make it 6-2. A wild pitch by Matzek moved Bohm to third and he scored on a sacrifice fly by Gregorius to make it 7-2.

The Braves managed just four hits in the game. Austin Riley went hitless, snapping his 18-game hitting streak.

Atlanta drops two of three in the series and are 59-41 on the season. They will enjoy an off day Thursday before returning home for a three-game series against the Arizona Diamondbacks.

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