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Braves can’t find key hit in 2-1 loss to Brewers

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Atlanta drops the series 2-1.

MLB: Milwaukee Brewers at Atlanta Braves Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

The Atlanta Braves had plenty of chances but were unable to find a key hit in a frustrating 2-1 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers.

Charlie Morton turned in another solid performance but the Brewers staked themselves to an early lead with a two-out, solo home run by Willy Adames in the first inning. Morton retired the next 11 hitters he faced before Milwaukee struck again in the fifth.

Lorenzo Cain reached on an infield single with one out and then advanced all the way to third on a bloop single by Luis Urias. Dansby Swanson almost made an outstanding over the shoulder catch but the ball bounced off his glove. Cain scored on a ground out by Jackie Bradley Jr. to increase the lead to 2-0.

Morton finished his outing strong by striking out the side in the sixth. Morton pitched well again and only made a mistake on the home run ball to Adames. None of the balls in the sixth were hit hard but were well placed. He would exit having allowed three hits and two runs over six innings. He struck out six and didn’t walk anyone.

As good as Morton was, Brett Anderson matched him pitch for pitch. He sat down the first six Braves hitters he faced before Guillermo Heredia led off the third with a double to left. Heredia moved to third on a swinging bunt by Kevan Smith but Morton struck out and then Ozzie Albies grounded out to end the threat.

Freddie Freeman had a one-out single in the fourth but Atlanta could do nothing with him. They would finally break through in the sixth as Albies singled with one out and then moved to second on a walk to Jorge Soler. Freeman then lined out sharply to Cain in center for the second out. Craig Counsell would then got to his bullpen and summon John Curtiss to replace Anderson to face Austin Riley. Riley worked the count to 1-1 and then didn’t miss an elevated slider that her served into center field for a run scoring single to cut the deficit to 2-1.

Dansby Swanson followed with a bullet to right field but Bradley ran it down with a smooth over the shoulder catch for the final out of the inning.

Chris Martin worked a scoreless seventh and the Braves would threaten again in the bottom half of the frame. Smith reached on a two-out single and moved up to second when pinch-hitter Joc Pederson was hit in the foot by a pitch from Brad Boxberger. However, Albies grounded to first on a 3-2 pitch to leave the runners stranded.

Luke Jackson worked a perfect eighth and the Braves threatened again in the bottom half of the inning. Soler singled off of Devin Williams to begin the frame, After a strikeout by Freeman, Riley followed with another single to put runners at first and second. However, Williams dug in and struck out Swanson and Adam Duvall to leave two more runners stranded.

Richard Rodriguez sat the Brewers down in order in the ninth in his second appearance in a Braves uniform. Ultimately, Atlanta missed out on too many opportunities as Josh Hader retired the side in order in the ninth to close out the game.

Another frustrating outcome for the Braves who left eight men on and were just 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position. Atlanta put four balls in play with an exit velocity over 100 mph but got nothing to show for it.

Thus ends a grueling stretch for the Braves, who will enjoy an off day Monday before heading out to St. Louis for a three-game series against the Cardinals.