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Bullpen falters as Braves fall to Reds 4-3

The Braves rallied in the ninth but came up short as the Reds walked it off for a 4-3 win.

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

Charlie Morton was outstanding and the Atlanta Braves rallied from a two-run deficit in the ninth, but the Cincinnati Reds rallied in the ninth for a walk-off, 4-3 win.

Morton recorded five strikeouts while sitting down the first nine hitters he faced over the first three innings. Morton walked four in his last start in Philadelphia, but his command and curveball were on point in this one to start.

The Braves finally got on the board in the fourth against Luis Castillo when Marcell Ozuna launched a solo shot to left with two outs in the inning to put Atlanta up 1-0.

Morton ran his streak to 12 straight hitters retired in the fourth. He walked Joey Votto to lead off the fifth but then picked him off first base to end the inning. Morton added another strikeout to his total with a perfect sixth to bring his pitch count to 81.

If not for Morton, Castillo could very well have been the story in this one. The Braves had a few opportunities, but he did a good job of holding them at bay with the exception of Ozuna’s homer. He allowed six hits, one walk and one run over seven innings to go along with six strikeouts.

Max Schrock broke up the no-hitter with a leadoff single through the middle to start the seventh. Donovan Solano then lined out to the right field corner on a nice play by Ronald Acuña Jr. Morton then came back and struck out Tommy Pham and Joey Votto to strand the runner.

That would be it for Morton as he gave way to Collin McHugh for the eighth. Morton was spectacular allowing one hit and one walk over seven scoreless innings. He struck out 10 while throwing 94 pitches.

The Reds got to McHugh in the eighth. He struck out Mike Moustakas to begin the inning before Albert Almora singled. Nick Senzel followed with a single of his own and Michael Harris made an unbelievable diving stop to keep the runners at first and second.

However, that would go for naught as Matt Reynolds singled to center to score Almora to tie the game. Brandon Drury came on to pinch-hit and doubled to right center to score two more to put the Reds up 3-1.

The Braves weren’t finished though. Ozuna took Hunter Strickland deep for this second home run of the game to lead off the ninth to make it 3-2.

Strickland came back and struck out William Contreras for the first out. Mike Ford pinch-hit for Orlando Arcia and grounded into the shift for the second out. That would bring Harris to the plate who jumped on the first pitch and drove it out to right to tie the game.

A.J. Minter entered in the ninth and allowed a single to Tommy Pham to begin the inning. Minter then picked off Pham, but Dansby Swanson was unable to handle the throw down at second. He then walked Votto and hit pinch-hitter Jonathan India to load the bases. Almora followed with a single through the drawn in infield to walk it off for a 4-3 win.

Atlanta ends the road trip with a 4-2 record. They will return home Monday where they will begin a 10-game homestand against the St. Louis Cardinals.

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