Behind Charlie Morton and a potent offense, the Braves won their first game of the season as they defeated the Reds, 7-6, on Friday at Truist Park.

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Here are five observations on the win:

1. What injury? You couldn’t tell Morton ever fractured his right fibula in the World Series.

Morton on Friday began his season debut with four perfect innings. And while the Reds got to him in his final two innings, he never spiraled.

“The biggest part from it is all the young guys in our staff get to watch him do this,” catcher Travis d’Arnaud said. “They all get to learn from someone who puts in so much work and so much effort in his craft, and tries to be such a perfectionist with how he prepares.”

Morton allowed two earned runs over 5 1/3 innings. He struck out five batters and walked one. He threw 78 pitches.

2. D’Arnaud, who blasted three home runs in 17 at-bats in the exhibition schedule, has stayed hot. He drove in three runs in his first two at-bats on Friday.

The first came in the second inning, when he hit a ball that Reds third baseman Mike Moustakas couldn’t handle. In the next frame, d’Arnaud lined a two-run single as the Braves began to break open the game.

Asked about the similarities in the different hot stretches in his career, d’Arnaud said: “Try to do less. ... That’s usually when good things happen. When I try to do too much, I overswing and I lose my mechanics and thought process.”

Combined ShapeCaption
Braves' Matt Olson (28) makes his way to first base after hitting a single during a game against the Cincinnati Reds at Truist Park on Friday, April 8, 2022, in Atlanta. Branden Camp/For the Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Credit: Branden Camp

Braves' Matt Olson (28) makes his way to first base after hitting a single during a game against the Cincinnati Reds at Truist Park on Friday, April 8, 2022, in Atlanta.  Branden Camp/For the Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Credit: Branden Camp

Combined ShapeCaption
Braves' Matt Olson (28) makes his way to first base after hitting a single during a game against the Cincinnati Reds at Truist Park on Friday, April 8, 2022, in Atlanta. Branden Camp/For the Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Credit: Branden Camp

Credit: Branden Camp

3. When we envisioned the Braves, this is what they were supposed to look like in 2022. They showed patience, but also attacked.

The Braves displayed great plate discipline in drawing five walks versus Reds lefty Reiver Sanmartin. When they chased him in the third inning, they hammered reliever Jeff Hoffman. Atlanta led by seven runs after three innings.

One of the run-scoring hits in the third came from Orlando Arcia, who validated manager Brian Snitker’s decision to make him the designated hitter.

Another great sign: Matt Olson collected three hits.

“I think it’s everybody, to be honest. There’s no one in particular,” Arcia said through interpreter Franco García. “I think everyone is putting in the work. ... I think the work that we’re all putting in is showing right now. It’s sort of something that binds us and unites us together, right? I think we’re all in this together and we have the same mentality, and I think everything we’re doing when no one’s watching is really bringing us together.”

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4. One observation through two games: The Braves are off to a great start on the base paths. It’s a small sample size, but it’s encouraging.

On opening day, Eddie Rosario went from second to home because a throw from third base hit Austin Riley as he sprinted toward first. In the season’s second game, Adam Duvall scored from second because Moustakas couldn’t corral a ball off d’Arnaud’s bat. D’Arnaud later took an extra base on a throw.

The Braves have a few speedy players, but they’ve also shown some smarts on the bases.

5. Kenley Jansen had a tough Braves debut. He almost coughed up a four-run lead in the ninth.

Jansen pumped in strikes -- 23 of his 30 pitches were strikes -- but the Reds got bats on them. They scored three runs off him.

Context is needed, though. He allowed three hits on soft contact. Of Jansen’s 30 pitches, 27 were cutters, according to Baseball Savant. That is Jansen’s best pitch and, while it generated four whiffs, other balls found grass.

Snitker said he wasn’t worried about Jansen. He said most relievers are probably still finding themselves after a condensed spring training because “they haven’t gotten the work they normally would.”

“He’s a big horse that just never stops pitching,” Snitker said of Jansen.

Braves 7, Reds 6

Stat to know

12 - Morton retired the first 12 batters he faced in his first start (that counted) since fracturing his right fibula in the World Series.

Quotable

“I honestly didn’t even think about the leg. At some point, you just got to move on.”- Morton on returning from the injury

Up next

The Braves and Reds will play the third game of the series at 7:20 p.m. on Saturday. Atlanta’s Kyle Wright will face Cincinnati’s Vladimir Gutierrez.