Braves’ Morton through 6 hitless innings vs Cardinals

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Charlie Morton

Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Charlie Morton delivers in the first inning of the team’s baseball game against the St. Louis Cardinals on Thursday, June 17, 2021, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

ATLANTA (AP) — Braves starter Charlie Morton has not allowed a hit through six innings against the St. Louis Cardinals.

Morton hit Matt Carpenter with a pitch in the third inning Thursday night and also drilled Dylan Carlson in the fourth, the only baserunners he’s allowed.

The 37-year-old right-hander has struck out six and thrown 72 pitches.

St. Louis starter John Gant didn’t allow a hit until Ronald Acuña Jr. singled to open the fourth. Freddie Freeman followed with a single, but the inning ended when Austin Riley lined out to third.

Morton entered 2-12 with a 5.68 ERA in 18 career starts against St. Louis.

Plagued often by big innings this year, Morton has been steady with a fastball up to 96 mph, mixing in plenty of curves and cutters, too.

The Braves led 2-0 on Guillermo Heredia’s third homer in the fifth and Ozzie Albies’ RBI triple in the sixth.

There have been six no-hitters already this season, and a seventh would match 1990, 1991, 2012 and 2015 for the most since 1900, one shy of the record eight in 1884 — the first season overhand pitching was allowed.

Morton would join San Diego’s Joe Musgrove (April 9), Carlos Rodón of the Chicago White Sox (April 9), Baltimore’s John Means (May 5), Detroit’s Spencer Turnbull (May 18) and the New York Yankees’ Corey Kluber (May 19).

In addition, Arizona’s Madison Bumgarner had a seven-inning hitless game in a doubleheader on April 25 that is not recognized as a no-hitter by Major league Baseball.

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