Atlanta drops the first game of Tuesday’s twin bill
Charlie Morton came into the game struggling and this one didn’t start out any better. Travis Janikowski reached on an infield single and then moved up to second after Francisco Lindor was hit by a pitch in the foot. Pete Alonso followed with a single to right that scored Jankowski to give the Mets an early lead. Eduardo Escobar followed with another single that scored Lindor to make it 2-0.
The Braves got one of the runs back in the second as Adam Duvall worked a one-out walk and then advanced to third on a double by Dansby Swanson. Travis Demeritte then lifted a sacrifice fly to center that scored Duvall to make it 2-1.
Morton’s struggles continued in the second and they began with a leadoff walk to Luis Guillorme. Tomas Nido popped up a bunt attempt for the first out, but Jankowski worked another walk to put runners at first and second. Mark Canha then bounced to Albies who was in the shift and had to go far to his left. He turned and threw, but his throw was wide at second to load the bases. Lindor grounded into a fielder’s choice at second but beat the relay throw at first. Guillorme scored on the play to make it 3-1. Alonso followed with a solid single to left to make it 4-1. Morton got Escobar to pop out in foul territory to end the inning.
Morton allowed Starling Marte to reach in the third as he was unable to field a tapper back to the mound. However, he escaped the jam when Guillorme lined to Albies who doubled off Marte at first.
Morton’s bad luck continued in the fourth as Nido reached on bloop single to right center. He was erased on a fielder’s choice by Jankowski who immediately stole and second and then moved over to third on a throwing error by Travis d’Arnaud. Canha lifted a sacrifice fly to right to make it 5-4.
The Braves finally got something going against Mets starter David Peterson in the fifth. Demeritte led off the inning with a single. After Guillermo Heredia struck out, Albies hit a slow bouncer back to the mound that Peterson couldn’t handle. Matt Olson made him pay as he launched the first pitch from Peterson into the bullpen for a three run home run to cut the deficit to 5-4.
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Morton retired the side in order in the fifth and then came back out for the sixth. He issued a one-out walk to Guillorme and then a swinging bunt hit to Jankowski to put runners at first and second. That would end Morton’s night as he would give way to Jesse Chavez who struck out Canha to end the inning.
Morton allowed six hits, three walks and five runs although only four were earned. He struck out three while throwing a season-high 99 pitches. Morton needed 56 pitches to get through the first two innings. He was again victimized by soft contact, but seemed to settle in as the start went on. Hopefully that is something that he can carry over into his next start.
Drew Smith came on for New York in the seventh and walked Olson with two outs, but Austin Riley flew out to the warning track in right center to leave him stranded. Smith worked a perfect eighth before giving way to Edwin Diaz who closed the door in the ninth.
The second game of the doubleheader will get underway approximately 45 minutes after the first game ended. Kyle Wright will be on the mound for Atlanta while Carlos Carrasco will get the start for New York.