The Braves lost to the Astros 5-4 at Truist Park on Sunday, though the team already secured what should be considered a successful homestand.

Here are five takeaways from Sunday:

1. While the ending was disappointing, the total homestand wasn’t. The Braves went 5-2, winning series against the Mets (second-best record in the National League) and Astros (best record in the American League).

“I’m very happy with how we responded to the seven games we just played,” manager Brian Snitker said. This weekend marked the Astros’ third series loss since the All-Star break. The Mets hadn’t lost a series against a divisional foe since dropping three of four in Atlanta during this homestand.

2. Charlie Morton, 38, remains an ageless wonder. He allowed two runs and struck out 11 Astros over six innings. He’s fanned 23 batters over his last 13 ⅔ innings (two starts). Morton has looked much like his expected self since mid-June, which is promising as the Braves approach the most pivotal portions of the season.

Morton downplayed the significance of what he’s achieving at his age, referencing what Justin Verlander (39) and Adam Wainwright (40) have also achieved. Morton ranks ninth in MLB with 164 strikeouts.

“I’m 38, and I’m assuming this is what a 38-year-old feels like,” Morton said when asked if he feels his age. “I can’t put myself in someone else’s body. I’m assuming, based on all the other information, that I’m doing pretty well for a 38-year-old.”

ExploreBraves drop finale vs. Astros, finish 5-2 homestand

3. The Astros scored two runs off Dylan Lee to take a permanent lead in the eighth. Lee gave up two hits and issued a four-pitch walk in the frame. He allowed two runs (one earned) on three hits Saturday.

“This is Dylan Lee’s first year as a major-league reliever,” Snitker said. “I’m sure wear and tear (is a factor). He’s probably not feeling the greatest. I’m just saying this is a first-year major-league reliever. He burst on the scene last year at the end, and now he’s being asked to put down some high-pressure innings. And he has. He’s done a great job.

“It’s location; he had a four-pitch walk. The breaking ball is real. He’s learning as he’s going.”

4. Infielder Vaughn Grissom had two hits, including a double. He had a hit in six of seven games this homestand and reached base in each contest. First baseman Matt Olson had the biggest offensive highlight Sunday, blasting a two-run homer off Jose Urquidy in the first inning. It was Olson’s ninth homer in 29 games in the second half.

ExploreMarcell Ozuna returns to Braves lineup days after DUI arrest

5. Marcell Ozuna returned to the lineup Sunday, two days after his DUI arrest. He hit eighth and played left field with Eddie Rosario (hamstring soreness) sidelined for a day game. Ozuna went 0-for-2 with two strikeouts. He was booed multiple times, including player introductions, when he walked up to the plate and following his at-bats.

Astros 5, Braves 4 (box score)

Stat to know

42-24 (The Braves are 42-24 at Truist Park with 15 home games remaining. Their best record at Truist Park/SunTrust Park was 50-31 in 2019.)

Quotable

“His stuff, his knack for throwing that curveball; he could probably pitch until he’s 60 with that thing.” – Snitker, on Morton

Thank you, Will

The Braves showed a video tribute for Will Smith during Sunday’s game. Smith, a Newnan native, closed out the World Series (and his perfect postseason) in Game 6. The Braves dealt Smith to the Astros before the trade deadline, so this weekend was his return. Smith stepped out of the dugout and waved to Braves fans during their applause.

Up next

The Braves begin a six-game, seven-day road trip Monday to Pittsburgh and St. Louis. Jake Odorizzi (4-5, 4.15) will start the series opener against Pirates righty Roansy Contreras (3-3, 4.02).