Charlie Morton’s dominant performance in September gave the brave hope.
They want the bowler to retain that quality next month.
Morton scored seven runs, Jorge Soler had a two-round RBI single, and Atlanta survived chaos in the ninth to defeat the Philadelphia Phillies 2-1 on Tuesday night.
With the win, the Braves moved one step closer to their fourth consecutive NL East title.
“That’s why we hired Charlie,” Braves manager Brian Snicker said. “I know he doesn’t get overwhelmed at the important moments.”
Atlanta cut its “magic number” to three games in the division title competition and expanded its lead to three and a half games versus second place. In that place are the Phillies themselves, who are no longer in control of their own destiny with five regular season games remaining.
The loss wiped out Philadelphia from the race on the wild card berth.
Will Smith survived a runaway ninth inning, allowing for a sloppy run, as he tackled 36 on 42 chances.
Smith Bryce Harper and Guillermo Heredia, who came into the game due to his defensive strength in the inning, walked in and grabbed JT Realmuto’s line in the center field. Pinch-hitter Matt Vierling veered into left field Edwin Rosario’s gauntlet for a two-base error, putting the runners into second and third.
Andrew McCutchen loaded the bases, Didi Gregorius hit the sacrificial fly, and with the runners on the corners, Smith made it 3-0 with Freddy Galves. The bowler filled in, Galvez fouled two pitches and then fanned the fast ball.
Morton (14-6) gave up singles for the first two hitters and allowed only one more hit. He allowed three hits with ten strokes and walked twice in seven runs.
LEVELES, Venezuelan Odubel Herrera 4-2; Freddy Galves 4-0. Dominican Jean Segura 4-1.
For the brave, Cuban Jorge Soler 3-1 with two RBIs. Puerto Rico Eddie Rosario 3-0.
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