Morton fans 11, Ozuna drives in 4 as Braves bully Mets 7-0 to dominate season series

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Charlie Morton Braves Mets
Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Charlie Morton throws to a New York Mets batter in the sixth inning of a baseball game, Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2023, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Hakim Wright Sr.)

ATLANTA (AP) — Even in the Georgia heat, Charlie Morton is thriving at 39.

He gives at least partial credit to extra salt on his food.

Morton gave up only two hits in seven innings while allowing no runs for the third straight start, Marcell Ozuna drove in four runs with three hits, including a two-run homer, and the Atlanta Braves beat the New York Mets 7-0 on Wednesday night.

The majors-leading Braves won two of three from New York, finishing 10-3 in the season series.

“Flat out, they were better than us,” Mets shortstop Francisco Lindor said. “You’ve got to give them credit. They’re a really good team.”

Morton (13-10) set a season high with 11 strikeouts, his second straight game with double-digit strikeouts and the 27th of his career. He won his third straight start — two against the Mets and one against the New York Yankees. The right-hander allowed a combined nine hits in the three wins.

The temperature for the first pitch was 91 degrees, but Morton showed no sign of fatigue. He says a simple lesson learned from former St. Louis teammate Cris Carpenter made a difference in his ability to withstand the heat.

“He said, ‘Over-salt your food,’” Morton said, adding he wasn’t attempting to offer advice to anyone’s diet but believes Carpenter’s lesson worked for him.

“For all I know it extended my career,” Morton said.

Morton’s 18-inning scoreless streak in his three straight wins is his longest since posting 21 consecutive scoreless innings in June 2021.

Ozuna singled in a run off José Quintana (1-5) in the first and again drove in Austin Riley in the sixth, this time with a double to center field. Ozuna scored on Sean Murphy’s single off Quintana for a 3-0 lead. Vaughn Grissom’s two-run triple off Phil Bickford pushed the lead to five runs.

Ozuna lined the two-run homer, his 28th, to left off Bickford in the seventh. It was his fourth homer of the series, including two Monday night and one Tuesday night.

“I feel good, working hard every day,” Ozuna said. “Hopefully, God give me the ability to stay healthy and keep doing what I’m doing.”

New York’s only baserunner in the first four innings was Lindor, who was hit by a pitch in the first.

Quintana allowed five runs on nine hits and three walks in 5.1 innings.

For more on the Mets, visit AMNY.com