The Atlanta Braves will send veteran right-hander Charlie Morton to the mound in search of the team's 11th series sweep on Wednesday night when they host the New York Yankees in the finale of their three-game set.
While Atlanta has won five of its last six games, the Yankees have lost four consecutive contests to drop to .500 for the season. New York is 2-6 on its current road trip.
Morton (11-10, 3.71 ERA) is coming off one of the most unusual starts of his long career. In his last outing on Friday against the New York Mets, Morton pitched five shutout innings, allowing three hits, a career-high seven walks and four strikeouts in the Braves' 7-0 win. It was Morton's fifth scoreless outing of the season, but he acknowledged he struggled.
"Trouble finding a release point, especially my four-seamer and my curveball," Morton said. "My changeup and cutter were there a little bit and two-seamer was OK, but my bread-and-butter just wasn't there."
Morton joined Jack Flaherty (April 1) and Dylan Cease (Aug. 7) as the only starting pitchers to record a win while walking seven batters. He became the eighth Brave to walk seven batters without giving up a run, the first since Damian Moss in May 2022.
"He got a win, we got a win," Atlanta manager Brian Snitker said. "That's the main thing."
Morton is 4-3 with a 3.88 ERA in 12 career starts against the Yankees.
New York has not announced a starting pitcher for the finale.
Right-hander Randy Vasquez (2-1, 1.89 ERA) is a likely candidate after allowing two runs on three hits in 3 2/3 innings to pick up the win on Friday against the Miami Marlins. He has yet to face the Braves in his career.
The Yankees continue to have offensive troubles. They have just 11 runs during their four-game skid, with seven of those coming in Sunday's 8-7 loss to Miami.
"We're just simply not playing well enough," New York manager Aaron Boone said. "We've got to be better. It sounds like a broken record. There's a lot of season left — still a quarter of the season — and we've got to do better than this."
The Yankees said Tuesday that Aaron Judge will not need offseason surgery on his right big toe. He tore the ligament in the toe when he ran into the bullpen gate at Dodger Stadium on June 3 and was out for 42 games.
In the 17 games since returning from the injury, Judge has only three homers and five RBIs. He is 2-for-4 with two walks in the first two games of this series.
"I think he's done great," Boone said. "He's not 100 percent, but I feel like he's moving around. That's gotten better since the first day, and that's kind of steadily improved. Whether he gets all the way back to 100 percent this year or not, I'm not sure about that."
Atlanta made two roster moves on Tuesday, recalling second baseman Vaughn Grissom and outfielder Luke Williams. The Braves placed Ozzie Albies on the 10-day injured list with a strained hamstring and optioned outfielder Forrest Wall to Triple-A Gwinnett.
Williams was claimed after being waived by the Los Angeles Dodgers on June 5 and batted .251 with six homers in 48 games with Gwinnett.
—Field Level Media