PHILADELPHIA — Dansby Swanson hit his first career grand slam, Orlando Arcia added a solo shot and the Atlanta Braves beat the Philadelphia Phillies 7-2 on Thursday night to inch closer in the NL East race.
Charlie Morton (9-4) allowed two earned runs over six innings and struck out eight in his latest strong start. Morton has gone six or more innings in six of his last seven starts, with a 2.40 ERA during that stretch.
With the victory, the Braves — winners of the last three NL East titles — closed within four games of the idle New York Mets and tied Philadelphia for second place at 47-48.
Atlanta did most of its offensive damage against Phillies starter Matt Moore, who allowed six earned runs in six innings. Swanson, who was in an 0-for-14 slump, landed the big blow in the third when he sent a fastball from Moore into the seats in left field for his 17th homer to make it 5-0.
The Braves shortstop has been better on the road than at home as of late, connecting for five homers in his last 15 road games with a .316 batting average. During Atlanta’s last homestand, Swanson had only two hits in 22 at-bats in his last five games since the All-Star break.
Arcia began the fourth with a solo homer, his second of the season, to make it 6-0.
Morton cruised for most of the night before stumbling a bit in the seventh when Didi Gregorius hit a leadoff triple and Odubel Herrera followed with an RBI double. Luke Jackson replaced Morton and got two outs before allowing Jean Segura’s RBU single that made it 6-2.
The Braves added a run in the ninth when Austin Riley drew a bases-loaded walk off Mauricio Llovera.
Braves: Announced that OF Ronald Acuna Jr. underwent successful surgery Wednesday on his torn right ACL that he suffered during a game in Miami on July 10. The surgery was performed in Los Angeles by Dr. Neil ElAttrache. Acuna is done for the rest of this season and could miss some time at the beginning next season.
Phillies: Herrera was activated off the 10-day injured list after being sidelined with left ankle tendonitis. To make room on the roster, the Phillies sent INF Nick Maton back to Triple-A Lehigh Valley. … 3B Alec Bohm, who was placed on the COVID-19 list on July 10 after a reported positive test, went 1 for 3 as he began a rehab assignment in Lehigh Valley on Thursday. … OF Bryce Harper was in the lineup after X-rays on his right foot were negative after fouling a pitch off it during Wednesday’s 6-5 loss to the Yankees.
The four-game series continues Friday night with Atlanta sending LHP Max Fried (7-5, 4.29) up against Phillies ace Zack Wheeler (7-5, 2.44)