Sean Murphy continued his incredibly productive start to the 2023 season with another big night at the plate. He drove in four of the nine runs that the Atlanta Braves scored in their 9-3 win over the Boston Red Sox.
As is becoming a bit of a routine for this year's Braves squad, they got going early in this one. Following a 1-2-3 inning from Charlie Morton, Ronald Acuña Jr. led off Atlanta's half of the inning with a single and that went straight into Matt Olson planting a baseball from Nick Pivetta square on top of the Chop House in right field for a two-run homer.
The Braves weren't done giving Pivetta a rude welcome to Cobb County, though. Austin Riley took a walk, Sean Murphy got hit by a pitch and both guys made it into scoring position after a wild pitch with one out. Ozzie Albies made Pivetta pay for the mistake by bouncing a single into the outfield to make it 3-0 and then Marcell Ozuna brought home the fourth run of the inning with a productive ground out. Once the smoke cleared, the Braves were up by four after just one inning and it was up to Charlie Morton to make that comfortable lead stand up.
Fortunately, Morton was up to the task as he ended up putting in six solid innings of work where he only gave up two runs. The first run for the Red Sox came in the third inning, which is when Justin Turner was able to bring in Alex Verdugo via sacrifice fly. It was still an incredibly close play at the plate because Ronald Acuña Jr. has a rocket arm, but 'close' still only counts in horseshoes, so the Red Sox were still able to avoid the shutout.
Justin Turner was also responsible for the second run that Boston scored, as he skied one over the big brick wall in right-center field for a solo shot. Those two runs were the only blemishes on the night for Morton, as he also had seven strikeouts on a night where his fastball looked really good. It was definitely a positive outing for Morton and we're hoping he'll keep it up as he's suddenly found himself in an elevated position in the rotation due to injuries elsewhere.
Morton was able to get most of this work done without too much stress since Atlanta's offense was scoring early and often in this one. Sean Murphy in particular was a standout performer, as he continued to rake at the plate by adding a few more RBIs to his tally for the season. His RBI single in the second inning made it 5-0 and then he added another RBI single in the fourth frame to make it 7-1 at that point. It's almost as if he wants to spend yet another week as the NL Player of the Week.
The Braves nearly put this game completely to bed in the fifth inning, as Orlando Arcia hit a line drive down the left field line for what should've brought in a couple of runs. Instead, one of Jeff Francoeur's pals managed to snag the ball from the stands while the ball was still in play and it ended up being a ground rule double. Unfortunately for Atlanta, what was poised to be a big inning for the Braves ended up being just a one-run inning — with that being said, the score was 8-1 at that point so any complaints were grumbled instead of being shouted.
Boston got a rally going against A.J. Minter in the eighth inning, but Minter was able mitigate the damage to just one run in that frame. Atlanta immediately got the run back in the bottom of the eighth, though. I hope you're sitting down for the following news: Sean Murphy had yet another RBI in this game. This time, he hit a gapper that was good enough to give Matt "Wheels" Olson a chance to score all the way from first base. Olson just barely beat the tag home and the Braves went back up by six runs again.
The game ended by that same score of 9-3 after newly-called up Danny Young pitched a scoreless ninth to keep it that way. Again, considering how well the Red Sox had been playing coming into this series, this was impressive on Atlanta's part to beat them so comprehensively. They'll have a chance to go for the mini-sweep tomorrow night at 7:20 PM E.T.