Charlie Morton pitched seven scoreless innings and Freddie Freeman slugged a home run, leading the Atlanta Braves to a 5-0 win over the host Miami Marlins on Friday night.
After taking the opener of a three-game series, the Braves have won two straight contests. They need to sweep the set to arrive at next week’s All-Star Game with a record above .500. The Marlins have dropped two in a row after winning four of five.
Morton (8-3) allowed just two hits — both singles — and two walks while striking out seven. He retired nine of the first 10 Marlins batters and 11 of the final 12 to face him, lowering his ERA from 3.91 to 3.64.
Luke Jackson and Jesse Chavez each pitched one hitless inning to close out Atlanta’s second shutout victory in the past seven games. The Braves’ most recent shutout before Friday was a 1-0 home victory over Miami on July 2.
Freeman hit his 18th homer of the season and his 34th in 183 career games against the Marlins.
Braves star Ronald Acuna Jr., who went 1-for-3 with a run and a walk, was hit by a pitch by the Marlins yet again, this time by an 84 mph slider from Miami reliever Anthony Bender in the seventh inning.
The Marlins and Acuna have history that goes back several years. The most recent hit-by-pitch before Friday was just one week earlier, when Miami’s Pablo Lopez was ejected for hitting the Braves star on the first pitch of the game.
This time, there were no ejections.
Anthony Bass (1-5) took the loss on Friday in what was a bullpen game for Miami. Bass pitched just one inning, allowing one run on Freeman’s homer.
Freeman got the Braves off to a good start with his blast in the first, a 406-foot shot to right-center on a first-pitch slider.
Acuna’s hit-by-pitch ignited a two-run rally in the seventh. Ozzie Albies hit a two-out double to score Acuna, and Austin Riley’s triple drove home Albies.
The Braves extended their lead to 4-0 in the eighth. Dansby Swanson hit a leadoff double and scored on Orlando Arcia’s two-out double.
Atlanta closed the scoring in the ninth as Riley doubled and scored on Swanson’s two-out single.
–Field Level Media