Charlie Morton turned in a great performance on the mound while Ozzie Albies homered twice to help the Atlanta Braves to a 7-4 win over the Miami Marlins.
The Braves didn’t waste any time getting their offense started against Marlins starter Bryan Hoening. Ronald Acuña Jr. doubled to start the game and then picked up his 13th stolen base with a swipe of third. Austin Riley then delivered a single to center that made it 1-0.
On the board early!@austinriley1308 | #ForTheA pic.twitter.com/mtNAStbKr9— Atlanta Braves (@Braves) April 25, 2023
Morton retired the side in order in the first and then left a pair of runners stranded in the second. Miami tied the game in the third as Jazz Chisholm jumped on a hanging breaking ball and drove it into the Braves bullpen.
Up Up & Away, Kid. pic.twitter.com/LyaMR4ZQHC— Miami Marlins (@Marlins) April 25, 2023
Morton struck out two in a perfect fourth and then the Braves’ offense got back to work. Sean Murphy singled to begin the inning and then moved to second on a walk by Eddie Rosario. After a ground out by Ozzie Albies moved both runners up 90 feet, Vaughn Grissom dumped a single to right that scored Murphy to make it 2-1.
Baughn Voyage #ForTheA pic.twitter.com/aUII7ngnwQ— Atlanta Braves (@Braves) April 26, 2023
Sam Hilliard followed with a single to left that scored Rosario to extend the lead to 3-1.
➕1️⃣#ForTheA pic.twitter.com/SvlUQkjJG2— Atlanta Braves (@Braves) April 26, 2023
Atlanta wasn’t finished as Kevin Pillar lined a double into left center that scored Grissom to make it 4-1.
➕another1️⃣#ForTheA pic.twitter.com/G5cggRLKyi— Atlanta Braves (@Braves) April 26, 2023
Hoeing came back and struck out Acuña for the second out and was then replaced by left-handed reliever Steven Okert who got Matt Olson to pop out to end the inning.
Morton pitched around a walk in the fifth, but struck out Chisholm to end the inning. He added two more strikeouts in a perfect sixth. The Braves added to the lead in the seventh as Albies took Andrew Nardi deep to extend the lead to 5-1.
"@ozzie, I love him."#ForTheA pic.twitter.com/AaBDWFCkaw— Atlanta Braves (@Braves) April 26, 2023
Morton came back out for the seventh and retired Jean Segura and Yuli Gurriel on ground outs. Jon Berti prolonged the inning with a single to right, but Morton came right back and struck out Nick Fortes to end the inning.
It was one of the best outings of the season for Morton who allowed just three hits, two walks and one run over seven innings. He struck out a season-high nine while throwing 108 pitches.
Dylan Lee took over in the eighth and allowed a leadoff double to Garrett Hampson. Lee then struck out Chisholm for the first out, but Jorge Soler reached on an infield single to Riley to put runners at first and second. Bryan De La Cruz then smoked a single to center that scored Hampson to make it 5-2.
Brian Snitker would then summon Collin McHugh from the bullpen. Avisail Garcia greeted McHugh with a single to left that scored Soler to cut Atlanta’s lead to 5-3. However, McHugh would stop the bleeding as he then got Jean Segura to bounce to Riley for a 5-4-3 inning-ending double play.
The Braves got two of those runs back in the home half of the inning. Rosario got things started with a solo shot off of Tanner Scott to make it 6-3. Albies followed with his second of the game to put another run on the board.
2️⃣ @ozzie | @EddieRosario09 #ForTheA pic.twitter.com/bbdETL2o38— Atlanta Braves (@Braves) April 26, 2023
Jesse Chavez entered for the ninth and things got interesting. Gurriel jumped on Chavez’s first pitch and drove it to left. Kevin Pillar nearly made a leaping catch, but crashed into the left field wall. Gurriel kept running and circled the bases for an inside-the-park home run to make it 7-4. Chavez got Berti to ground out for the first out, but then allowed a single to Jesus Sanchez. He then got Hampson to pop out for the second out, but Chisholm reached on an infield single. With the tying run at the plate, Chavez struck out Soler to end the game.
Atlanta improves to 16-8 on the season and will go for a series win Wednesday night. Bryce Elder will get the start for Atlanta against reigning National League Cy Young winner Sandy Alcantara.