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Dansby Swanson’s slam backs Charlie Morton in Braves win over Phillies

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The Braves’ road trip begins on a good note.

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

Charlie Morton was outstanding and the Atlanta Braves’ offense did its heavy lifting early in a 7-2 win over the Philadelphia Phillies.

Atlanta struck first thanks to some aggressive base running by Ozzie Albies. Albies yanked a one-out double into the left field corner off of Matt Moore to get things started. Freddie Freeman followed with a soft single to left that dropped in front of Odubel Herrera who bobbled and then threw behind the runner nonchalantly to second. Albies streaked for home and scored despite a collision at home plate with catcher Andrew Knapp.

After a scoreless second, the Braves busted the game open in the third. Albies and Freeman struck again with back-to-back singles with two outs to get things started. A walk to Austin Riley loaded the bases and Dansby Swanson squared up a 1-0 fastball and drove it out to left for his first career grand slam to increase the lead to 5-0.

The Braves extended the lead in the fourth when Orlando Arcia hit his second home run of the season to push the lead to 6-0.

While the offense struck early Morton did his best to keep the Phillies in check. He struck out six through the first three innings. He worked around a lead off single by Ronald Torreyes in the fifth and retired the side in order in the sixth.

Morton tired in the seventh and the Braves found themselves in their first jam of the night. Didi Gregorius led the inning off with a triple into the left field corner and then came into score the Phillies first run on a double by Herrera. After a walk to Torreyes, that would be the end of the line for Morton who was replaced by Luke Jackson. Despite trailing 6-1, Knapp elected to drop down a bunt which Jackson fielded and fired to third to force out Herrera. Jackson struck out pinch-hitter Brad Miller for the second out but then allowed a single to Juan Segura that scored Torreyes to cut the lead to 6-2. Jackson would come back and strike out Travis Jankowski to end the threat with no further damage.

Both of those runs were charged to Morton who allowed four hits and four walks in six innings. He struck out eight more hitters giving him seven straight starts with at least seven punch outs.

If the Braves are going to stay in the race, then they are going to need the bullpen to pick things up considerably. Tyler Matzek ran the count full to Bryce Harper who lifted a sinking fly ball to center that Guillermo Heredia made a nice catch on coming in. Rhys Hoskins popped out to third for the second out, but Gregorius ripped a double to right.

Joe Girardi then sent Andrew McCutchen to the plate to pinch-hit for Herrera, but Brian Snitker countered with Chris Martin who recorded the strikeout to end the inning.

The Braves tacked on an insurance run in the ninth with a bases loaded walk by Mauricio Llovera to extend the lead to 7-2. Jesse Chavez worked a scoreless ninth to close out the game.

With the win, Atlanta gets the road trip off to a good start and improve to 47-48 on the season while picking up a half game on the Mets who will begin a three game series against Toronto Friday.

The Braves will try to make it two straight Friday when Max Fried squares off against Zack Wheeler.