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Braves offense can’t get going in 3-1 loss to Phillies

Charlie Morton turned in another good start but the bullpen couldn’t hold a 1-0 lead in a 3-1 loss.

Philadelphia Phillies v Atlanta Braves Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

One day after busting out for 13 runs, the Atlanta Braves were unable to get their offense on track in a 3-1 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies.

Wednesday’s game began with Charlie Morton and Zack Wheeler locking up in an old fashioned pitcher’s duel. Morton retired the first five hitters he faced before Darick Hall singled in the second. Bryson Stott followed with a fly out to right that Ronald Acuña Jr. made a nice leaping catch on just shy of the wall to end the inning.

Morton hit Kyle Schwarber with two out in the third but struck out Rhys Hoskins to leave him stranded. Nick Castellanos worked a two-out walk in the fourth and moved up to second as Morton hit Hall. However, he stranded the runners again as Stott bounced back to the mound for the final out.

Wheeler was equally impressive. He retired the side in order in the first before allowing a leadoff double to Austin Riley to start the second. After Eddie Rosario struck out for the first out, the Braves got some bad luck as Marcell Ozuna grounded to Alec Bohm at third. Bohm couldn’t come up with the play cleanly and kicked it to the middle of the infield. Riley broke for third, but Stott did a good job of backing up the play and fired to third in time to nab him. William Contreras flied out to end the inning.

The Braves threatened again in the third as Orlando Arcia led off the inning with a single to left and then moved up to second on an infield single by Guillermo Heredia. Wheeler escaped again however, as he got Acuña to bounce into a 5-4-3 double play and then struck out Dansby Swanson to escape the jam.

Atlanta finally got on the board in the fifth when Arcia connected on a solo home run to left for the first run of the game.

Morton retired nine straight hitters before Matt Vierling singled to center with two outs in the seventh. Brian Snitker would then bring on Dylan Lee who got Didi Gregorius to ground out for the third out.

Morton was excellent allowing just three hits to go along with eight strikeouts in 6 2/3 scoreless innings. He threw 101 pitches with 71 going for strikes.

Lee struck out Schwarber to start the eighth, but then walked Hoskins. Snitker would then go back to his bullpen and bring in Collin McHugh to face Bohm who singled on the first pitch he saw to put runners at the corners. McHugh then got J.T. Realmuto to bounce to Riley at third who started the double play attempt. Realmuto was originally called out at first on the play but the Phillies challenged and the play was overturned. Hoskins scored on the play to tie the game at 1-1. Nick Castellanos followed with a two-run shot to straight away center to give the Phillies a 3-1 lead.

Atlanta threatened against Seranthony Dominguez in the home half of the eighth. Arcia flew out deep to right before Robbie Grossman made his Braves debut with a pinch-hit, one-out double off the bricks in right. Acuña walked to bring the go-ahead run to the plate. Dominguez recovered and struck out Dansby Swanson for the second out. The Phillies then went to the bullpen again bringing in hard throwing lefty Jose Alvarado who got Matt Olson to pop out on the first pitch.

A.J. Minter worked a scoreless ninth for Atlanta, but the newly acquired David Robertson retired the side in order in the ninth to end it.

With the loss, the Atlanta drops to 63-42 on the season. They will now head to New York where they will begin a five-game series against the Mets Thursday.

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