Morton sharp, Acuña restrained after HBP, Braves top Marlins

MIAMI — Charlie Morton pitched seven innings of two-hit ball, Ronald Acuña Jr. was restrained after being plunked by another Marlins pitcher and the Atlanta Braves beat Miami 5-0 Friday night.

Freddie Freeman homered and Austin Riley doubled and tripled for the Braves. Ozzie Albies and Dansby Swanson each had two hits and an RBI.

The 37-year-old Morton (8-3) struck out seven and walked two. Morton allowed one Miami runner to reach third base, but Joe Panik was stranded after Jazz Chisholm Jr. flew out to center field and ended the third inning.

Miami reliever Anthony Bender hit Acuña with a pitch in the seventh. A frustrated Acuña stared and walked toward Bender before he was restrained by Marlins catcher Jorge Alfaro. Acuña headed to first base, slamming his protective elbow gear to the ground.

Marlins pitchers have hit Acuña seven times since the three-time All-Star’s rookie season in 2018, including with the first pitch of Atlanta’s first at-bat of their game July 2. That hit-by-pitch resulted in the ejection of Miami starter Pablo López.

The Braves capitalized as Acuña advanced on Freeman’s grounder and raced home on Albies’ double. Riley’s triple scored Albies.

Pinch-hitter Orlando Arcia extended the Braves’ advantage with his RBI double in the eighth and Swanson singled Riley home in the ninth.

Braves reliever Luke Jackson pitched a scoreless eighth and Jesse Chavez closed it with a perfect ninth.

Freeman gave Atlanta a quick lead with his solo homer against Miami starter Anthony Bass in the first. The Marlins were forced into a bullpen game after scheduled starter Zach Thompson fell ill and became a late scratch.

One of Miami’s late-inning relievers, Bass (1-5) had not started a game since Oct. 2, 2012. Bass was lifted after the first, allowing the home run to Freeman and striking out two.

Shawn Morimando relieved Bass and held Atlanta scoreless the next five innings. Recalled from Triple-A Jacksonville on Friday, Morimando had one previous relief appearance with Miami this season, when he entered the ninth to close a 9-2 lead against Philadelphia May 24 but allowed four runs and four hits and lasted 2/3 of an inning.


The Braves reinstated IF Pablo Sandoval from the restricted list and optioned RHP Jacob Webb to Triple-A Gwinnett.


Marlins: LHP Daniel Castano (left shoulder impingement) was moved to the 60-day injured list.


LHP Max Fried (5-5, 4.66) will start the second of the series for the Braves on Saturday while the Marlins will go with LHP Trevor Rogers (7-5, 2.22).

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