Quiet bats, miscues, Charlie Morton’s rough start define Braves’ blowout loss

Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Charlie Morton works against a San Diego Padres batter during the first inning of a baseball game Thursday, April 14, 2022, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

Credit: AP

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Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Charlie Morton works against a San Diego Padres batter during the first inning of a baseball game Thursday, April 14, 2022, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

Credit: AP

SAN DIEGO – The Padres on Thursday blew out the Braves, 12-1, at Petco Park. Everything went wrong for Atlanta (3-5).

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Here are five observations:

1. Not long after the introductions, national anthem and flyover to celebrate their home opener, the Padres jumped on Charlie Morton.

With the bases loaded and two outs in the first inning, Eric Hosmer flared a two-run single into the outfield. Then Wil Myers singled home another run.

Morton, who pitched well in his first start, was not sharp. He hit two batters and gave up a single to load the bases in the first for the Padres, who scored three runs.

Combined ShapeCaption
San Diego Padres' C.J. Abrams, right, is greeted by Trent Grisham after hitting a home run during the second inning of the team's baseball game against the Atlanta Braves, Thursday, April 14, 2022, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

Credit: AP

San Diego Padres' C.J. Abrams, right, is greeted by Trent Grisham after hitting a home run during the second inning of the team's baseball game against the Atlanta Braves, Thursday, April 14, 2022, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

Credit: AP

Combined ShapeCaption
San Diego Padres' C.J. Abrams, right, is greeted by Trent Grisham after hitting a home run during the second inning of the team's baseball game against the Atlanta Braves, Thursday, April 14, 2022, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

Credit: AP

Credit: AP

An inning later, C.J. Abrams took a pitch off the plate and lined it over the left field wall for an opposite-field home run that was the first homer of his career. And with two outs in the same inning, Luke Voit scorched a run-scoring double.

Morton allowed the five runs on nine hits over five innings.

“They seemed to be all over the heater,” Morton said. “They laid off a lot of what I thought were pretty good breaking balls, just below the zone and just inside. They waited out for their pitches.”

2. On this evening, the Braves’ offense needed to explode if Atlanta wanted to climb back into this game. The group had two chances to string something together.

Adam Duvall and Alex Dickerson began the third inning with consecutive singles. Dansby Swanson, who has struggled this season, then hit into a double play and Ozzie Albies grounded out.

In the fourth inning, Matt Olson lined a leadoff double to right field. The next three at-bats: Austin Riley groundout, Marcell Ozuna groundout, Travis d’Arnaud flyout.

San Diego’s Joe Musgrove threw 6 2/3 scoreless innings. He struck out six Braves.

“We’re not swinging the bats great right now,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said. “We’ve got a couple of guys that are swinging it OK but we’re having a hard time keeping the line moving and getting anything going to bunch anything together. Which that’ll come. You go through those spurts. It’s magnified, I think, when it’s the beginning.”

3. The Braves’ outfield defense might be an issue until Ronald Acuña returns.

In the second inning, Ozuna appeared to misread Voit’s line drive toward him. Ozuna seemingly could have caught it -- he was positioned well -- if he had played it well. Instead, Voit doubled home a run.

Eddie Rosario made two errors in right field. The second came in the seventh, when he missed a fly ball with two outs. The next batter, Manny Machado, hit a two-run homer.

Rosario has more errors (three) than hits (one) this season.

Asked if he was concerned about the outfield defense, Snitker said, “No, I’m not.”

4. Of moving on from the loss, Snitker said: “Whenever a situation like this happens, you just got to fight through it. You got to turn the page tomorrow, come out, work hard, prepare and let her fly. You just have to handle the adversities.”

5. With five strikeouts, Morton eclipsed the 1,500-strikeout mark. He now has 1,502 in a career that began in 2008.

Padres 12, Braves 1

Stat to know

0 - The Braves went 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position.

Quotable

“When they get up five after two or three, I still feel good. I think we have the firepower and all to come back in a game. We haven’t been able to yet. We will. We definitely will down the road. We’re not hitting on all cylinders right now, but we do have the firepower to do that.” - Snitker

Up next

Braves right-hander Kyle Wright will start Friday’s game against left-hander MacKenzie Gore, who will make his MLB debut.