Will veterans Morton, Smyly extend Braves’ run of superb starts?



The Braves’ hitters have enjoyed a satisfying stretch: 33 runs scored and 13 home runs hit in the past three games. But the team’s starting pitchers are amid a longer and perhaps ultimately more significant stretch of good results.

Over their past 19 games — essentially four times through the rotation, dating to May 4 — the Braves’ starting staff has compiled a 2.35 ERA, the lowest in MLB across those three weeks. In the 19 games, the Braves have gotten 15 quality starts, defined as pitching at least six innings while allowing three earned runs or fewer.

The veterans of the rotation, right-hander Charlie Morton and left-hander Drew Smyly, will try to extend the Atlanta starters’ success in a two-game series against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park.

Morton (2-2, 4.60 ERA) will start Tuesday night’s game. He is coming off a six-inning outing against the New York Mets last week in which he allowed just two hits and one run while walking none and striking out eight. It was his third start this season of at least six innings with no more than one run allowed, but it followed two starts in which he allowed nine runs (only three of them earned) across 5-1/3 innings.

Smyly (2-2, 5.11) will start Wednesday night’s game. He has three consecutive quality starts, compiling a 2.00 ERA across those games after pitching to an 8.05 ERA in his first four starts of the season.

The rotation’s recent success has lowered the Atlanta starters’ ERA for the season to 4.01, which ranks 13th among the 30 MLB teams. That’s down from 5.30 on May 3, the third worst among MLB starting staffs at the time.

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