The Braves, hosting a full Truist Park for the first time since October 2019, surrendered six runs out of the gate and were smashed by the Phillies, 12-2, Friday night. It snapped the Braves’ three-game winning streak and dropped them to 15-17.

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Here are five takeaways from Friday:

1. The only nice thing to say about the Braves’ first inning is at least it wasn’t 10 runs this time. The Phillies sent 11 to the plate, collecting five hits and drawing two walks. Starter Charlie Morton recorded only two outs before he was lifted for Josh Tomlin.

The awful showing was comparable to the last time the Braves had a full Truist Park: Oct. 9, 2019, when the team surrendered 10 runs in the first inning in an eventual 13-1 loss to the Cardinals that eliminated the Braves from the postseason.

2. Morton was shellacked Friday, despite none of the runs being earned. He retired Andrew McCutchen to open the game before Rhys Hoskins struck out but reached first on a passed ball. That started a downward spiral that’d lead to Morton exiting without completing an inning.

Bryce Harper walked, partly thanks to a spotty strike zone, and J.T. Realmuto singled to load the bases with one out. Alec Bohm’s single scored the first run. Didi Gregorius provided the second out on a soft liner, and Morton appeared positioned to perhaps escape.

caption arrowCaption
Braves starting pitcher Charlie Morton is removed. (Hyosub Shin / Hyosub.Shin@ajc.com)

Credit: HYOSUB SHIN / AJC

Braves starting pitcher Charlie Morton is removed. (Hyosub Shin / Hyosub.Shin@ajc.com)

Credit: HYOSUB SHIN / AJC

caption arrowCaption
Braves starting pitcher Charlie Morton is removed. (Hyosub Shin / Hyosub.Shin@ajc.com)

Credit: HYOSUB SHIN / AJC

Credit: HYOSUB SHIN / AJC

Instead, Jean Segura singled home two more Phillies. Odubel Herrera followed with a three-run homer, making it 6-0. Morton then walked opposing pitcher Zach Eflin, leading manager Brian Snitker to make a change.

“It wasn’t going to happen,” Snitker said of his decision to remove Morton.

“It’s a tough pill to swallow when you get taken out in the first inning,” Morton said. “It’s not like he took me out after giving up a couple runs. He took me out when I gave up six runs. At that point, this offense isn’t out of the game. But I was hoping to not leave the bullpen hanging like I did. That’s the only thing I worried about at that time.”

Tomlin covered the next 4-1/3 innings. The Braves used three other relievers on the night.

3. Two stats that summarize the weirdness of the first inning: Morton actually lowered his ERA from 5.08 to 4.98 because every run was unearned due to the passed ball. And Hoskins struck out against two separate pitchers yet scored a run.

4. While he’s outperformed the surface numbers, it’s been an underwhelming season thus far for Morton, whom the Braves signed to a one-year, $15 million deal over the winter. Morton’s outings have been plagued by one unraveling inning, though none had been as poor as Friday’s.

“When I evaluate, I try to be objective, but at the same time, it’s getting frustrating,” Morton said. “Very frustrating. Because I’m here, the organization brought me in so I can go out and do a job and do it well, and I’m not doing that. It’s very frustrating, especially to not get results. That’s where I’m out.”

5. The announced attendance: 38,952. Despite the ugly result, the stadium stayed mostly filled throughout the night. The loudest cheers came during Pablo Sandoval’s pinch-hit appearance and Harper’s two strikeouts. The Braves’ offense didn’t provide much excitement, having just five hits. Shortstop Dansby Swanson’s homer was the only one of note.

Stat of the game

16 (The Braves have allowed 16 runs across their last two first innings in front of full-capacity crowds at Truist Park.)

Quotable

“It kind of reminded me of the last time we played in front of a full house here.” Snitker acknowledging the parallels between the Braves’ last full-crowd home loss in 2019 and Friday.

Up next

The Braves and Phillies continue their series Saturday night at 7:20. Ian Anderson (2-1, 3.27) will face Vince Velasquez (1-0, 4.91).

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