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AP photo by John Bazemore / Atlanta Braves right fielder Ronald Acuña Jr. follows through on his go-ahead two-run homer in the fifth inning of Friday night's 8-1 win against the Philadelphia Phillies.

ATLANTA — Ronald Acuña Jr. and the Atlanta Braves put on quite a show for their first home crowd since 2019.

Acuña had four hits — including a long two-run homer to put Atlanta ahead — and made a leaping catch to support Charlie Morton's six strong innings, leading the Braves to an 8-1 win over the Philadelphia Phillies on Friday night.

Acuña's fifth-inning blast off Zack Wheeler (1-1) traveled an estimated 456 feet, landing deep in the center-field seats behind the Atlanta bullpen for a 2-1 lead.

"That was probably one of the harder ones I've hit," Acuña, who is from Venezuela, said through a translator.

Acuña also had two doubles and showed his speed by beating out an infield single in the eighth.

"That just shows the complete player that he is," Braves manager Brian Snitker said.

Morton (1-1) permitted one run and four hits. The veteran right-hander struck out seven and walked one.

"That was the best my curveball has felt, and I felt really good throwing it," Morton said.

Pinch hitter Ehire Adrianza connected for a three-run homer and 2020 National League MVP Freddie Freeman added a two-run shot as Atlanta's hitters shook off a slow start to the season. The Braves were held to a combined three runs while being swept in a three-game series at Philadelphia to open the season.

Leading 3-1, Morton escaped the sixth inning with runners on first and third when Acuña made a leaping catch of Alec Bohm's drive at the warning track in right field.

Morton, 37, won his first home start with Atlanta since his 2008 rookie season. He returned to Atlanta as a free agent after 12 seasons with the Pittsburgh Pirates, Houston Astros and Tampa Bay Rays.

Adrianza was reinstated from the restricted list before the game. His homer off Brandon Kintzler in the sixth drove in Austin Riley and Cristian Pache, who reached on errors by Bohm at third base. Freeman's homer off David Hale in the eighth pushed the lead to 8-1.

Wheeler, who threw 94 pitches, allowed three runs and seven hits in 4 2/3 innings.

Andrew McCutchen's run-scoring single in the third gave Philadelphia a 1-0 lead.

After the homer by Acuña, Wheeler gave up Ozzie Albies' double to right field and, two outs later, Travis d'Arnaud's run-scoring single to left field.

Phillies manager Joe Girardi then went to the mound. Though pitching coach Caleb Cotham had been out for a chat with Wheeler just minutes earlier, Girardi didn't realize it marked the second mound visit of the inning, and the pitcher had to be removed. Girardi turned to head back to the dugout before being called back to the mound by the umpires to make the mandatory change.

"I screwed up," Girardi said. "I was worrying about his pitch count and how he's worked, and I screwed up."

Wheeler took the mistake in stride.

"Those mistakes happen," Wheeler said. "It's human."

The Braves won in front a crowd of 14,302. They are allowing about one-third of the seats at Truist Park to be used in their first homestand. They plan to expand that to 50% in their next homestand.

The Braves wore their 1974 replica uniforms to honor Hall of Famers Phil Niekro and Hank Aaron. The numbers 35 and 44 are stitched on the back of the Braves' caps this season to honor Niekro and Aaron, respectively, who both died this past winter. Aaron's 44 was painted on the outfield grass.

Braves right-hander Chris Martin may be available Saturday after working out before Friday's game. Martin left a relief appearance Sunday at Philadelphia with what Snitker described Friday as "nerve stuff in his fingers" that caused numbness. Martin is expected to work as one of Atlanta's key late-game relievers.

Infielder Johan Camargo was optioned to the Braves' alternate training site with Adrianza's return, and right-hander Edgar Santana also was optioned there after he was acquired from the Pirates for cash considerations. Santana, 29, was designated for assignment by Pittsburgh on Monday.

Santana last pitched in the majors in 2018, when he was 3-4 with a 3.26 ERA in 69 games with the Pirates. He missed the 2019 season after Tommy John surgery and was suspended 80 games in 2020, which covered the abbreviated season, after testing positive for Boldenone, a performance-enhancing substance.

Atlanta's Ian Anderson (0-0, 1.80 ERA) will face Philadelphia's Zach Eflin (0-0, 1.29 ERA) in a rematch of right-handers when the three-game series continues Saturday night. Eflin allowed one run in seven innings in the Phillies' 2-1 home win over Anderson and the Braves on Sunday.

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