Austin Riley hits 3-run homer, Braves beat White Sox in game shortened because of rain

Atlanta Braves' Austin Riley is greeted in the dugout after his three-run home run off Chicago White Sox relief pitcher Dominic Leone in the eighth inning of a baseball game Monday, April 1, 2024, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
Atlanta Braves' Austin Riley is greeted in the dugout after his three-run home run off Chicago White Sox relief pitcher Dominic Leone in the eighth inning of a baseball game Monday, April 1, 2024, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

CHICAGO (AP) — Austin Riley hit a three-run homer, Charlie Morton threw 5 2/3 scoreless innings and the Atlanta Braves beat the Chicago White Sox 9-0 on Monday in a game shortened to eight innings because of rain.

The 40-year-old Morton (1-0) — the oldest starter in the majors this season — allowed three hits, walked two and struck out six in his season debut to hand Chicago its fourth loss in as many games.

“I felt fine,” Morton said after the start of his 17th season. “We used all the tools today and anytime you can do that, it’s fun.”

Riley’s homer, off reliever Dominic Leone, came one pitch after the end of a 44-minute rain delay. He finished the day with four RBIs.

“I don’t know how the heck he did that,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said of Riley’s first home run of the season. “That’s why these guys knock in a hundred runs; they don’t leave many out there.”

The game was halted again after the eighth and called 20 minutes later.

Atlanta got at least one hit from each of its nine starters and is off to a 3-1 start on its season-opening road trip.

  photo  Atlanta Braves' Marcell Ozuna tosses his bat aside after his single off Chicago White Sox starting pitcher Chris Flexen during the fourth inning of a baseball game Monday, April 1, 2024, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
 
 

Chicago starter Chris Flexen (0-1) gave up four runs in 4 1/3 innings while giving up six hits and three walks in his first game with the club.

“That’s a good team over there. Everybody knows it,” Chicago manager Pedro Grifol said. “When you don’t pitch in leverage counts against those guys, that tends to really play in their favor.”

Travis D’Arnaud started the scoring when he ran in on Ronald Acuña’ Jr.'s fielder’s choice in the third and Orlando Arcia widened the advantage an inning later with a two-run double.

Morton gave up a hit in each of the first three innings but settled down and retired his final 11 batters before leaving with two outs in the sixth. Relievers Dylan Lee and Tyler Matzek finished the shutout.

Yoán Moncada had a pair of hits for the White Sox, who have started 0-4 for first time since 2015.

TRAINER’S ROOM

White Sox: DH Eloy Jiménez, who didn’t start a day after leaving a loss to Detroit with left adductor soreness, will be evaluated further on Tuesday. Gavin Sheets took his spot in the lineup. … Chicago traded minor-league RHP Jake Cousins to the New York Yankees for cash considerations.

UP NEXT

Former White Sox RHP Reynaldo López makes his first start of the season against LHP Garrett Crochet (0-1, 1.50 ERA) on Tuesday night.

  photo  Chicago White Sox starting pitcher Chris Flexen delivers during the first inning of a baseball game against the Atlanta Braves Monday, April 1, 2024, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
 
 

Upcoming Events